University News

Three WIU Students Nominated for Rhodes Scholarship

October 7, 2019

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University has chosen three students as nominees for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

This year's nominees from Western include senior Mariah Dicksen, a microbiology major with minors in French, chemistry and scuba diving, from Lockport, IL; seniorHayden Golemon, a foreign languages and cultures major from Brimfield, IL; and senior Isaiah Pihlstrom, a finance major from Plymouth, MN. All three nominees are students in WIU's Centennial Honors College.

"Western Illinois University is fortunate to have three high quality nominees for the Rhodes Scholarship this year. All three excel in academics, athletics, civic engagement and leadership," said Rick Hardy, dean of the Centennial Honors College. "Many people deserve credit for assisting the honors college in promoting these outstanding students, including Professor Bill Knox, WIU's official Rhodes representative, a long list of recommenders, and most importantly, our nominees who have devoted countless hours to exemplary service and leadership."

• Dicksen was previously named a winner in the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. She is also WIU's Lincoln Laureate, a WIU Presidential Scholar, a member of the Marching Leathernecks and is the first female WIU student to win the Goldwater Scholarship.

At WIU, Dicksen has completed undergraduate research both on campus, with WIU faculty through the Honors College, and off campus through summer research programs. She has been captain of the Marching Leathernecks Color Guard since 2017, vice president of the WIU Water Polo Club since Fall 2016, is treasurer and co-founder of the WIU Tennis Club and served as the sisterhood chair for Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.

Dicksen is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, serving as a student vice president, and the Panhellenic Council. She is also a member of the WIU Pep Band, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Alpha Lambda National Honor Society, President's Roundtable for Students, Golden Key International Honour Society, Order of Omega Honor Society, American Society of Microbiology and Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society.

Dicksen's honors and achievements include Congress of Future Medical Leaders, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence. She was her high school's representative to the Argonne Laboratory's Women in Science Conference, was an Illinois State Scholar and more.

• Golemon previously served as a legislative intern for Congressman Darin LaHood's office. He was also previously a member of WIU's track and field team and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

At WIU, Golemon serves on the WIU Council on Admission, Graduation and Academic Standards, is the Foreign Languages and Cultures Student Council Representative and serves on the WIU President's Student Roundtable, as the student representative to the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Council and on the Student Government Association. He is seeking minors in philosophy and political science.

Golemon's honors and achievements include being a Harry S. Truman Scholarship nominee and winning the Vivian D. Kline Foreign Language Scholarship, a scholarship for excellence in Spanish linguistics and culture, the Mary Olive Woods Philosophy Scholarship and he is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish honor society.

• Pihlstrom completed a financial analyst internship at General Mills in Minneapolis, MN during Summer 2019. He serves as captain of the WIU Swimming and Diving team, previously serving the Most Dedicated Award and organizing community volunteer projects for the team.

At WIU, Pihlstrom is vice president of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society and is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honors Society. His honors and achievements include receiving the WIU Department of Finance Scholarship in 2019.

For more information about WIU's Centennial Honors College, visit

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing