Millsaps College Students Named 2021 Key into Public Service Scholars

Millsaps College rising seniors Khaylah Scott and Nazm Rahat are two of just 20 students selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar by The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated interest in working in the public sector and possess a strong academic record in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

A native of New Orleans, Scott is majoring in sociology and is conducting original research this summer in New Orleans on the relationship between natural disasters and gentrification. Scott has also been involved with a local nonprofit, The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects, to establish a student organization and safe space for Black women at Millsaps. She plans to attend graduate school after Millsaps and pursue a career in public service and research.

Rahat is majoring in biochemistry and minoring in literature in English. Hailing from Meridian, Miss., Rahat is the current president of the Student Body Association and works on campus as an academic consultant and student researcher. She recently studied the key determinants affecting health outcomes in health equity, policy and disparities in rural and urban Kentucky as part of the Summer Health Professions Education Program at the University of Louisville. After graduation, she will pursue a medical degree and a career as a physician and public servant.

“This recognition of the work being done by Khaylah Scott and Nazm Rahat is certainly well-deserved, and a strong reflection of their focus, work ethic and dedication to improving the world around them,” said Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps College. “They personify our mission statement, which speaks to our dedication to engaging students in ‘personal and intellectual growth, commitment to good citizenship in our global society, and a desire to succeed and make a difference in every community they touch.’”

Chosen from over 800 applicants attending chapter institutions across the nation, each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual convening in late June to provide them with training, mentoring, and reflection on pathways into active citizenship. Inspired by many Phi Beta Kappa members who have shaped the course of our nation through local, state, and federal service, the award highlights specific pathways for liberal arts and graduates seeking public sector careers.

“The Society selected these exemplary students for their intellectual curiosity; breadth and depth across liberal arts and sciences coursework; positive contributions on and off campus through academic research, internships, and community work; and demonstrated commitment to serve the common good,” Phi Beta Kappa Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence said. “As the country tackles concurrent health, economic, and social crises, the Society applauds the 2021 Service Scholars for their pursuit of arts and sciences excellence in service of the greater good.”

For more information about the scholarship and links to individual biographies of the recipients, please visit

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