Hilary Hurd (Col '13) Cole Geddy

Two fourth-year students studying politics at UVA have received two of the nation's highest academic honors.

Hillary Hurd (Col '13), a Richmond native, is one of 34 students chosen as a Marshall Scholar and will pursue a master's degree in international relations at Cambridge University, and in peace and conflict studies at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

Joseph Riley (Col '13), meanwhile, will attend the University of Oxford to obtain his master's and doctoral degrees in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar.

Riley, of Tennessee, is the first ROTC student chosen as a Rhodes Scholar since 2009, and is just one of 32 students selected nationally. He is a majoring in Mandarin Chinese and the politics honors program in the College of Arts & Sciences. The 21-year-old is co-authoring a book with Dale Copeland, an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in UVA's Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, examining Sino-American relations.

Joseph Riley (Col '13) Dan Addison
"It has honestly been one of the most exciting, yet humbling, experiences of my life," Riley says. "I realize I have been given a great opportunity, and I am resolved to make the most of it. The scholarship and the degree will open numerous doors for me in the military, and will allow me to take assignments and leadership positions that I would not otherwise be able to hold."

Hurd, 21, who is double-majoring in Russian and East European studies and the politics honors program in the College of Arts & Sciences, is the nonvoting student representative to the University's Board of Visitors and editor in chief of the Wilson Journal of International Affairs. She is a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar.

"To live and breathe in one of the world's oldest, most revered universities is such a dream," Hurd says. "I cherish being a student, and I'm relieved to know that I'll have at least two, and possibly more, years to refine my understanding of international law and politics and to learn from a new family of Marshall Scholars."