Podcast: Receiving the Rhodes Scholarship with 1LT Evan Walker ’21 and 1LT Tyrese Bender ’21

Category: Grad News
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This episode features an interview with 1LT Evan Walker ’21 and 1LT Tyrese Bender ’21, recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship, a graduate scholarship program.

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1LT Walker served as the Cadet Second Regimental Commander, Captain of the Army Boxing team, and co-President of the Elevation Initiative. In the first year of her Rhodes Scholarship, she completed a Master’s of Sociology from the University of Oxford and will soon complete her candidacy as a Master of Public Policy. She looks forward to serving as a Military Intelligence Officer at Fort Liberty in North Carolina.

1LT Bender served as the Cadet Deputy Brigade Commander, a team captain for Army Track and Field, and will soon conclude his master’s degree at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a distinction-level award for his Sociology thesis. Outside of his graduate studies, he volunteers as a coach for young athletes and competes in multiple long-distance charity races, as he prepares for his next role as a Military Intelligence officer at Fort Eisenhower in Georgia.

“It was a long four years at West Point, and it was a long two years, as well, at Oxford. But I think the lessons that those years really taught me was just to remember how important it was to, not only understand and communicate complexity, but also to do so in a matter that is interpretable and motivating for the people that’s in your organization. Because, as Evan mentioned earlier in this episode, it all boils down to people. And I think that not only the four years at West Point taking, you know, philosophy classes, physics classes, engineering classes, but also going through GSP and reflecting. And then, again, at Oxford being challenged intellectually, being challenged in our interpersonal relationships to widen our perspective, just makes us confront complexities and contexts in their raw form and being able to communicate them in a tangible format to people whose lives that they impact, I think is the sticking point for me from the past six years.”

— 1LT Tyrese Bender ’21

In this episode, 1LT Walker and 1LT Bender talk about their experience at West Point, what it took to receive the Rhodes Scholarship and attend the University of Oxford, and how they look to continue the legacy of the Long Gray Line in the future.

**This episode does not imply Federal endorsement.

Episode Timestamps

(02:18) Experiences at West Point
(12:22) Rhodes Scholarship program experience
(18:09) Writing retreat at Buckner
(24:33) The final competition
(33:33) Re-entering the Army
(41:16) Maintaining relationships
(47:18) Experiential learning outside of the classroom
(52:18) Key takeaways


1LT Evan Walker’s LinkedIn
1LT Tyrese Bender’s LinkedIn
MAJ Renee Sanjuan’s LinkedIn
West Point Graduate Scholarship Program

“I think just being able to continue to open your mind to just collect all this information while also making sure you have the time to reflect on it, which the last two years with GSP at West Point really helps, the time that we’ve had at Oxford has really helped. And so taking in information, processing it so that you can better have the best actions or responses to those stimuli that you’re encountering, I think has been the biggest thing.”

— 1LT Evan Walker ’21

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The WPAOG Podcast is a strategic initiative focused on tailored audible communications to further inform Graduates on current AOG projects, events, and USMA updates. This customized content is mainly for USMA Alumni and the West Point Community solely produced by the West Point Association of Graduates. The Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Audible, YouTube Music, and iHeartRadio.

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