NewsCovering Colorado


USAFA cadet awarded Rhodes Scholarship 'Makes Everyone Around Him Better'

USAFA Cadet Jamie Landy
Posted at 4:00 PM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 21:11:42-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — "I was told about this mythical cadet who is amazing in class," said Air Force Col. Miriam Krieger.

That mythical cadet is Jamie Landy.

"His impact here is one of leadership, of exceptional intellect and capability, but more than that of service and of making everyone around him better," said Krieger.

Colonel Miriam Krieger is the head of the political science department at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

"Jamie came to us and declared this major as a sophomore," said Krieger. "He was already doing research, he was already authoring papers with faculty members."

Krieger says she immediately knew he was going to be a Rhodes scholar.

"He has the intellectual capacity, passionate desire to serve, the leadership ability, athletic prowess, and more than that the je ne sais quoi the Rhodes scholarship is looking for: people who are going to change the world," said Krieger.

Changing the world is a value Landy quickly credits his parents for inspiring.

"My mom is a school social worker in Washington, D.C. public schools, she is now an anti-poverty advocate doing policy there," said Landy. "My dad has been working in the international development community for the past 30 years."

Landy says his father's career took their family around the world.

Jamie Landy (bottom right) and Family
Jamie Landy bottom right and family pictured

"I would see counterparts, 12-year-old kids, picking up trash, doing trash collecting jobs, and working on the streets," Landy said. "That to me, that stark difference, that was this moment where I went, 'Why is this the case? What arbitrary kind of aspects of our lives have lead us to each to these different places?' "

For Landy, one of those places was the Air Force Academy. In his first year, Landy was quickly influenced by another cadet, Aryemis Brown, a Rhodes scholar.

You can read more about Brown's story here.

"One day I was running on the strips, that’s what freshmen do here, when we’re outside we run on these strips," said Landy. "It's not a social event, not a social hour, pretty serious. All of a sudden he started running right next to me. He was junior, and they don’t need to run on the strips, they have plenty of bars, plenty of rank on. He started running next to me just talking to me asking, 'How’s your day going? How are you feeling?'

Landy says he was impressed that Brown was quick to show kindness.

"I want to be around people like that," Landy said.

Now he will. Landy is one of only 102 students in the world awarded the Rhodes Scholarship every year.

Jamie Landy learning more about Rhodes Scholarship

"Hours after my interview I found out I got the scholarship and it was a surreal moment where I was like, 'I guess I’m in this community that Aryemis Brown was in,' " Landy said. "These are good people. I’m excited to be around these people."

Landy will pursue a master's degree in international relations. He hopes to be an intelligence officer when he returns from Oxford and work with U.S. Southern Command in Central and South America.

Read more about Landy here.

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