Deacon Profile: Alice Hauser

Hauser was named as a Rhodes Scholar recipient on Nov. 13


Photo courtesy of Wake Forest

Alice Hauser is one of 32 Americans who has received the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship this year.

Isabella Romine, Staff Writer

Since arriving at Wake Forest, senior Stamps Scholar Alice Hauser has advocated for refugees, advised three different Wake Forest administrators, studied abroad twice, completed three internships and participated in several other student groups. Most recently, on Nov. 13, Hauser was awarded an honor only 32 Americans nationwide can claim: she was named a 2022 Rhodes Scholar, making her Wake Forest’s 15th recipient of the scholarship since 1986.
The Rhodes Scholarship funds two years of postgraduate study for any field at Oxford University and provides students with additional leadership and professional development opportunities. The scholarship is one of the most prestigious and selective in the world.
Previous recipients of the award include James William Fullbright, who went on to establish the Fulbright Program, and former US president Bill Clinton.
Hauser, who is double majoring in philosophy and piano performance with a minor in history, described the difficulty of the application process:
“You’re not allowed to have anyone else review any of your essays, so the personal statement you craft is truly yours and is reflective of your views and no one else’s,” Hauser said. “It can be scary to sit with your own thoughts and not have anyone to bounce them off of. I learned a lot about myself in that process, which was rewarding even without the end result.”
Hauser had more than enough material to reflect on, as each of her semesters at Wake Forest has been packed with service, hard work, and intellectual inquiry.
From the moment she arrived on campus, Hauser has not only explored new opportunities, but embraced them, too. Reflecting on one of her first weekends on campus, she described how a fellow Stamps scholar invited her to a women’s club ultimate frisbee game.
“I expected some kind of tutorial, but they literally — and I mean literally — shoved me on the field and said you’ll figure it out,” Hauser said, laughing.
Given that she is currently the team’s captain, it is safe to say that she rose to the occasion.
Though she has been involved with many student organizations, Hauser names volunteering with the Student Association for the Advancement of Refugees (SAFAR) as one of her most meaningful experiences. SAFAR is an academic tutoring organization that pairs students with families in the Winston-Salem community to help children with schoolwork, which Hauser said allowed her to engage with the community outside the Wake Forest bubble on an individual level.
Hauser also immersed herself in the broader Winston-Salem community through a legal internship with the Forsyth County Family Justice Center in the summer after her freshman year. There, she reviewed domestic violence protective orders to assist research on bias across demographics.
The internship sparked Hauser’s passion for legal work, which she has maintained throughout her time at Wake Forest. Hauser interned at Lawyers without Borders in spring 2022 while completing the Wake Washington study away program. This past summer, she also interned in Washington, DC, supporting the attorneys in the Major Crimes Division.
On campus, as a Leadership and Character Ambassador, Hauser has also been heavily involved in their programming. The summer before her junior year, she participated in the Principled Pluralism Fellowship. Over the course of eight weeks, she researched how to combat political polarization and discussed how to engage with people about politics on a more human level with other Wake Forest students.
“[The Leadership and Character Program] reframed the way I viewed leadership from a tool that can be used to manipulate other people to something that involves shared goals and vision and that is based around virtues,” Hauser said. “It has changed the way that I conduct myself as a leader in the student organizations I’m involved in and how I interact with the various administrators whose advisory committees I’m on.”
Though Hauser is best known on campus for her refugee advocacy work, she has also advocated directly for Wake Forest students. She served on an advisory committee to the provost and is currently a President’s Aide and a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Panel.
“All three of these advisory positions to administrators have allowed me to interact with other students and directly with administrators to advocate on issues important to me, on everything from COVID-19 policies to increasing accessibility on campus to differently-abled people to Title IX transparency and reform,” Hauser explained.
Throughout all her other activities, Hauser has also maintained her passion for piano music.
She first began playing at five years old. Though she did not anticipate majoring in piano performance at Wake Forest, she found that music was too important to her to discontinue her studies.
“One of the wonderful things about music is that it allows you to connect with people across space and time. Even if you’re in a room by yourself, you can find a sense of commonality and communion in the human experience,” Hauser said. “Whatever emotion you’re feeling, there is often a piece that can encapsulate that emotion.”
In addition to her DC internship this past summer, Hauser received a Richter Scholarship. She studied composer and pianist Johannes Brahms, traveling between Austria, Germany, and Switzerland to analyze the sources of his musical inspiration.
Before graduating, Hauser will complete a philosophy honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Justin Jennings on the Rawlsian distinction between formal and fair value and its application to persistent racialized inequalities in the U.S. court system.
When asked about how she fits all these activities in, Hauser laughed and answered:
“I am hyperorganized,” she said. “My calendar is insane. I schedule every minute of my time. I schedule in my spare time.”
She also attributes her success to all those who have supported her over the years:
“I’d like to thank Dr. Michael Lamb, Dr. Justin Jennings, Dr. Peter Kairoff, Dr. Stewart Carter, Dr. David Geary, Dr. Mir Yarfitz, Dr. Dan Locklair, Dr. Bradley Burroughs, Dr. Christian Miller, Dr. Larry Weng, Ms. Jackie Sheridan, Dr. Edwin Wilson, Mrs. Emily Wilson, Ms. Julie Wilson and my wonderful family, friends, and loved ones for their enormous support of me in all my endeavors,” Hauser said.
As Hauser prepares to graduate, she leaves behind a remarkable legacy and stands tall as an exemplar of Wake Forest’s Pro Humanitate motto.
At Oxford in Fall 2023, Hauser will pursue a Master of Philosophy in Law and a Master in Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. After completing her master’s programs, Hauser plans to attend law school:
“I want to directly advocate for people in need and increase accessibility to justice for people who have experienced harm. I see law as a great avenue for achieving both of those goals.”