University of Georgia student named Rhodes Scholar

‘I feel so proud to be a Dawg right now,’ student says

University of Georgia international affairs senior Natalie Navarrete was named a 2023 Rhodes Scholar this weekend.

Navarrete, from Boca Raton, Florida, is one of 32 students nationwide to be awarded the prestigious scholarship. She will receive an all-expenses paid two to three years of study at the University of Oxford.

The Rhodes Scholarship is an international scholarship for graduating college seniors to continue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford. It is the oldest award for international studies in the world.

“I am still in shock to be honest,” Navarrete told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Monday. “I feel so proud to be a Dawg right now and am so grateful to UGA and all my professors and advisors for all that they have done for me. I can’t wait to be back in Oxford soon.”

Navarrete majors in international affairs, Russian and Spanish with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. At Oxford, she plans to study Russian and East European studies and continue her research on smuggling by criminal organizations in Central Asia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The University of Georgia is incredibly proud of Natalie for this extraordinary achievement,” said UGA president Jere W. Morehead in a UGA Today article. “I am confident she will continue to make important contributions to our society through her program at Oxford University and throughout her career.”

Navarrete follows up the last UGA Rhodes Scholar from 2021, Phaidra Buchanan, who was the university’s first Black Rhodes Scholar.

Here are five things to know about Navarrete:

- This year, she traveled to the University of Oxford to study European politics and Russian and Spanish literature; studied political philosophy in Italy in March; went to Hawaii over the summer to participate in the UGA Intensive Summer Immersion in Russian Language and Area Studies program; and completed her Russian Flagship capstone in Kazakhstan in September at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

- Her research involves the intersection of Russian and Latin American politics, primarily focusing on smuggling, Russian investment in Latin America, the influence of Russian media on Latin American politics and crisis diplomacy in Crimea.

- In the summer of 2021, she interned at the U.S. Department of Energy and for then-U.S. Rep., Ted Deutch of Florida in Washington D.C.

- She was a legislative fellow for state Rep. Spencer Frye.

- She was a member of the UGA Undergraduate Mock Trial and its Russian Club.