December 8, 2023
Annapolis, US 47 F

MIDN Abigail Ward of Pasadena Named Rhodes Scholar

It was announced this weekend that United States Naval Academy (USNA) Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Abigail Ward, 21, of Pasadena, Md., was one of 32 Americans awarded a Rhodes scholarship. This year, more than 2,500 students began the application process; 249 different colleges and universities ultimately endorsed 862. Committees of Selection in each of the 16 U.S. districts then invited the strongest applicants to appear before them for interviews; 240 from 90 colleges and universities made it to the final stages for one of the 32 scholarships awarded in the U.S. this year.

Ward, representing the Naval Academy as their 56th Rhodes Scholar, is a computer science major and a Chinese minor. She is passionate about combatting protecting communities from foreign influence campaigns through sound cyber policy, with a focus on analyzing Beijing-backed disinformation campaigns using Natural Language Processing. She is a recipient of the Stamps Scholarship that allowed her to work with The Asia Foundation Malaysia this past summer to study the impact of technology policy on small and micro-entrepreneurs. She also spent Spring 2023 in an intensive Mandarin program in Taipei, Taiwan, at National Taiwan University. She currently serves as the Chinese Culture Club President, is a member of the Navy Women’s Rugby team, and is a Midshipman Group Studies Program Leader.

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest (first awarded in 1902) and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship program, enabling young people from around the world for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in England for up to three years. The scholarships are for young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges and are committed to the service of others. They show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future, wherever their careers might take them and in any field. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees and transportation to and from England.  

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as the #5 undergraduate engineering school, #3 liberal arts college, and #1 public college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, cyber security, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 26 different subject majors and serve at least five years as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

For more information about Rhodes Scholars, visit rhodes For more information about the Naval Academy, visit and their Facebook page.

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