Born and raised in Tunica, Mississippi, Arielle Hudson was initiated at the University of Mississippi in April 2019 while pursuing a bachelor's degree in Secondary English Education on scholarship from the UM chapter of the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program.
During her time on campus, Arielle served as the president of the university's Black Student Union and senator in the Associated Student Body Government. Through these roles, Arielle effectively lead change by co-authoring a resolution to remove a Confederate statue from the university's campus. She also tutors students through the Marks Education Project and was crowned the 2019 USA National Miss Hospitality State.
In November 2019, Arielle became the first African American female and 27th student to be selected as a University of Mississippi Rhodes Scholar. She will pursue a second bachelor’s degree in law at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford before returning home to the University of Mississippi where she plans to fulfill her five-year teaching requirement as part of her undergraduate scholarship obligation. Her long-term plan is to pursue a career in education policy and civil rights.
Let’s get to know Arielle!
- Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
Phi Kappa Phi is one of the oldest and most prestigious honor societies, and it offers a lot of professional and social development opportunities through its long history of scholars who are willing to serve as mentors to younger members.
- What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you?
Phi Kappa Phi means that my hard work and commitment to education and academic excellence has not been in vain.
- What cartoon character would you like to switch lives with?
I am named after Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," so it would definitely be her. She and I have a lot in common, although she is a fictional character—determination, passion, kindness, and fierceness.
- If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do?
I would invest in my hometown, specifically the schools and the living communities.
- What is your favorite childhood memory?
My family and I used to take a trip to Disney World every summer as I was growing up. Being in the van for 15 hours and listening to Phil Collins "Two Hearts" as soon as we hit the Florida state line has always been one of my fondest memories of childhood.
- If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
The first black female president being inaugurated.
- What was your favorite book as a child?
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee has always been one of my favorite books. Mostly because as I get older and re-read it, I am able to dissect it from a different lens and with more perspective as I continue to grow and learn more about the world now and how it used to be.
- What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fears are not being able to truly help people when they need it and not being able to make the world a better place than it is now.
- When are you the happiest?
I am the happiest when I am among family and community. I am a very community-oriented person, and I enjoy being able to be emerged in my community environment and perform the work that needs to be done to keep the people in it uplifted and whole.
- What is the most important lesson you learned in the past year?
To listen. It is very easy to get caught up in making sure your voice is heard and that your concerns are received that we, as people, sometimes forget to take the time to listen to others' concerns and worries.
To learn more about Arielle, connect with her through the online member community here
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