Mutsa Mutembwa


Rhodes Scholar (2010)
Indiana University Bloomington


Indiana University senior Mutsa Mutembwa has been named a 2010 Rhodes Scholar to represent her native Zimbabwe.

Majoring in economics and mathematics, she will graduate in May with plans to become a financial economist. Mutembwa, one of approximately 80 Rhodes Scholars for 2010, also plays defender on IU's field hockey team. She is the 14th student from IU to become a Rhodes Scholar and the fourth student-athlete.

"Mutsa is a most deserving choice for this special honor," said IU President Michael McRobbie. "Her academic accomplishments here at Indiana University are every bit as impressive as her extraordinary ability on the playing field. We are all very proud of her."

Mutembwa just completed her junior season with the Hoosier field hockey team where she helped lead IU to the first round of the NCAA Tournament and to the Big Ten Tournament championship game. She ended her athletic career at Indiana tied as the career defensive saves leader -- matching IU All-American and Olympian Kayla Bashore's numbers. She also ranked second in saves for the season in IU's single-season record.

"Mutsa Mutembwa personifies what Indiana University student-athletes are all about," said IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass. "Her commitment to her education is remarkable, her dedication to her sport is commendable, and her interest and concern for the world around her is simply extraordinary. Indiana University is proud to be represented by a young woman like Mutsa Mutembwa, and we congratulate her on this extraordinary achievement."

Mutembwa's father, Amman, is a diplomat, and her mother, Prisilla, was a field hockey star. Growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe, Mutembwa played multiple sports, but she excelled at field hockey. She played on the Zimbabwe U-21 national team that competed in the 2005 World Cup where her size (5-feet 10-inches) and skill caught the eyes of American college recruiters, including those of Amy Robertson, IU's field hockey coach.

"Mutsa is an incredible young woman who is going to make a huge impact on this world," said Robertson. "I'm so proud of her. She has just brought so many honors to our program, our university and our athletic department. I'm so thrilled for her and honored to have been her coach and watch her develop from the time she arrived in Bloomington to today."

The Rhodes Scholarship provides for all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, and may allow funding in some instances for four years. It was created in 1902, and the first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904; those elected today will enter Oxford in October 2010.

Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a two-stage process. First, candidates must be endorsed by their college or university. The strongest applicants then appear before a committee for an interview and are selected on the basis of the criteria set down in the Will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. These criteria are high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

Scholars chosen from the United States were announced in November. They will join Scholars from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the nations of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (South Africa, plus Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), Zambia and Zimbabwe. Approximately 80 Scholars are selected worldwide each year.