Senior Aaron Creek Selected as Rhodes’ First Luce Scholar


Publication Date: 3/12/2007

Senior biology major Aaron Creek of Springdale, Ark., has just been named the first Luce Scholar from Rhodes College. The Luce Scholars program is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation in New York which annually selects 15 students from around the country to study in Asia for a year. Rhodes is one of only 67 colleges and universities allowed to nominate students for the program.

Luce Scholars have backgrounds in various fields including business, the arts, law, science, environmental studies, journalism and medicine. After Creek completes his year in Asia, he plans to attend medical school at either the University Arkansas or the University of Tennessee. He has been accepted to both.

“It will be an incredible experience working with the Foundation to determine where I will go and what I will be doing,” says Creek.  “I’ve always been interested in different cultures and ways of doing things.”
Michael Gilligan, Henry Luce Foundation board president, applauded Rhodes President William E. Troutt for his attention to and support of student success. Beginning with his arrival at Rhodes in 1999, Troutt has led a strategic planning process that culminated in the Rhodes Vision and focuses on student research, employment, service, internships and opportunities for study abroad. It was because of this new vision that James Laney, a Henry Luce Foundation board member, made the invitation to Troutt for Rhodes to join the selective program that now allows Creek and future Rhodes students firsthand experiences with Asian cultures and societies.

“I think success takes passion and hard work,” says Creek. “I have enjoyed college immensely but I have also worked extremely hard. Being a Luce Scholar is not about the recognition. It’s a great opportunity.”

Since his first year at Rhodes, Creek has been a volunteer in the trauma unit of the Regional Medical Center (MED). His internship experience includes shadowing Campbell Clinic physician Dr. Robert Miller and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Sawyer through the InMotion Musculoskeletal Institute. With Sawyer, Creek presented research at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Creek also established a Students for Organ Donation chapter on campus and made a medical mission trip to Nigeria.

Also at Rhodes, Creek is president of Tri-Beta biological honor society and a Bonner Scholar committed to community service and leadership development. In other areas of service, he has worked as a Kinney Coordinator for Senior Services and Independent Living as well as for Children and Youth Services. As a coordinator, he has organized volunteers, arranged outings, fundraising, and other kinds of events.

Creek plans to graduate from Rhodes in May.