David Moore has a lot going on in his life, but you won’t hear him complain. The University of Michigan student from Holland, MI, earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2014 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the same field. But what sets him apart from most college students is the fact that he was selected for the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2015. Moore is one of 32 U.S. students who will begin courses at the University of Oxford in England in October. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in computer science engineering in his first year and an MBA in his second year.
Academically, Moore met the Rhodes Scholar criteria for excellence. He was a three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and was the recipient of the Big Ten’s Postgraduate Scholarship. He also has several devices to his credit as part of his design and manufacturing classes, including the AquaTow, an assisted-training device for swimmers. Moore and three fellow engineering students developed the AquaTow for the U-M swim team, on which Moore competes. He was captain of the U-M men’s varsity swim team and a part of four Big Ten Championship-winning teams as well as a member of the 2013 national championship team.
Moore was also on a team that designed several innovative devices, including a wheelchair mechanism that enables wheelchair users to access their backpacks with the push of a button.
He hopes to continue to design sustainable products that have a positive impact on society, whether in the areas of energy solutions, healthcare or other applications. Moore says his goal is to bring happiness to the user. “I’d like to lead a company or start a company that’s committed to innovation and helping people.”
This year, 877 candidates from across the U.S. were nominated by their respective colleges and universities, with 207 reaching the final stages. The committees of selection in each of the 16 U.S. districts then invite the strongest applicants for interviews. Two winners are chosen from each district. Eighty Scholars are selected worldwide each year.
“When I heard my name called, it really didn’t register,” says Moore. “It didn’t sink in until people started congratulating me.” He says his proud parents, Anne and Scott, “told the whole world” in a very short period of time.
Rhodes Scholar criteria also includes leadership qualities, which Moore has exhibited as the community service chair for the U-M Student Athlete Advisory Council and organizer of the swim team’s community service activities.
While studying at Oxford, Moore says he wants to explore Europe and “experience a whole new culture.” Beyond that, he isn’t sure where he’ll end up.
“I know I’ll be living somewhere near water, and the Great Lakes area is a good possibility,” he says, noting that he grew up around water and feels calm whenever he’s in or near it. “Water relaxes me and gives me a sense of peace.”