MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A University of Wisconsin-Madison student said Sunday he plans to use his Rhodes scholarship to study how governments can better focus their environmental policies on meeting people's needs.
Colin Higgins, 22, of Middleton was among 32 American men and women chosen as Rhodes scholars. The scholarship funds post-graduate studies at Oxford University in England.
Higgins said winning a Rhodes scholarship is a "surreal" experience. He said the award is "surrounded in a lot of mystique."
At Oxford, Higgins plans to pursue a master's of philosophy degree in geography and the environment.
A distance runner, Higgins said he would think about how environmental policies can preserve nature during his daily runs through a savanna in a conservancy in his hometown.
Higgins said a high school science teacher also was influential and got him "fascinated in how ecosystems function."
Higgins completed his undergraduate studies at UW-Madison last May after triple majoring with honors in environmental studies, geography and history. He's currently a graduate student in the university's Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs and expects to complete an accelerated master's degree in public affairs in May.
UW-Madison student Bill Mulligan, a senior biochemistry major from Lake Mills, was a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship.