Iolani grad selected Rhodes scholar
Advertiser Staff and News Services
Iolani School graduate and Boston University senior Rick Malins of Pearl City is among 32 American college students selected as Rhodes Scholars for 2004, it was announced yesterday.
Rick Malins of Pearl City plans to graduate from Boston University in May with degrees in chemistry and neuroscience.
Malins said today he went into Saturday's interview round for the award feeling his chances were not good.
Academic credentials get a candidate to the interview rounds, Malins said, but the field of finalists are impressive.
"Everyone was truly incredible," Malins said of the 12 District 8 finalists who were in San Francisco last weekend. "I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to get it so I went in relaxed. When I came out of the interview, I knew it had gone well."
Malins, 21, was one of four District 8 winners. In all, 32 American college students were selected as Rhodes Scholars for 2004.
"I felt a lot of emotions," Malins said today from Boston. "There's the excitement of the future of going to Oxford and sympathy for the people who didn't get it."
Malins plans to graduate in May with degrees in chemistry and neuroscience. He plans to continue his research work on Alzheimer's Disease during the summer in Boston before heading off to Oxford.
"What I'm really interested in is exploring the function of the human brain and how the chemical reaction on the molecular structure is translated into behavior," Malins said.
Rick is the second eldest of Chester and Chris Malins' four children. It's a family of academic achievers.
Chester Malins is a former submariner who retired from the Navy as a captain in October. His wife is the assistant principal for grades kindergarten through four at Holy Family Academy. Both are natives of Corpus Christi, Tex., and University of Texas graduates who went on to earn master's degrees.
Rick, his older brother, Jeff, and younger brother, James, who attends Loyola Marymount, are all Iolani graduates. Their sister, Lara, is a junior at Iolani.
Despite the transient nature of military life, the Malins' children have always excelled academically, said Chris Malins.
"They're all goal-oriented and self-motivated," Mrs. Malins said.
In addition to academics, Rick Malins has directed, designed, managed or acted in 25 stage productions while in college. He played viola for the Boston University orchestra and tutored and coached disadvantaged children.
The 30-minute interview Saturday is not only about academics, said Malins. "It started out scientific but they're looking for people with certain characteristics and personality traits," Malins said.
Chet Malins describes his son as perseverant and independent.
"If we would have told him to do this, he would have done something entirely different," Chet Malins said. "But he wanted this."
Malins joins a diverse group of Rhodes classmates, including a female former wing commander who led 4,000 cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, a political science major who has worked with refugees in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and a national Frisbee champion who was a contributing scientist on a NASA Mars mission.
Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.
The American students will join an international group of scholars selected from 18 other nations around the world. Approximately 95 scholars are selected annually.
With the elections announced Sunday, 3,014 Americans have won Rhodes Scholarships, representing 306 colleges and universities.
Chet Malins said it will be hard to know his son is a world away in England, but that he's confident he'll do well.
"He'll thrive," the father said.
Advertiser staff writer Rod Ohira and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Rod Ohira at 535-8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org