EKU Rhodes Scholarship finalist hoping to encourage other students


RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Nick Koenig wears many hats, he’s a botanist, activist, environmentalist, student body VP, and Eastern Kentucky University’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar finalist.

How’d he get there? He follows his passion.

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“You can be amazing and not get a scholarship, which is perfectly fine,” Koenig said.

Louisville native Nick Koenig is a senior at EKU, studying biology with a botany focus.

So where did his love for plants start?

“I used to garden with my father and enter in the state fair and that was really fun but I also when I was a kid, I really wanted a saxophone,” Koenig said. “One of my uncles is a tree trimmer so we went around and picked mistletoe and then I went door to door selling mistletoe. That’s one of my favorite memories that I have about using plants as a kid.”

Koenig recently competed as a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, it’s the oldest and most celebrated award for postgraduate international study.

“Being able to make it to the point where I did. The first person from EKU to even get an interview is a very humbling experience for myself,” Koenig said.

He says although he didn’t walk away as a recipient of the scholarship, he is honored to have been considered and he hopes to influence other EKU students with similar interests to embrace the failures and continue to follow their passion.