Second Lt. Simone Askew has been named one of Glamour Magazine’s top 10 College Women of the Year.
Askew, who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on May 26, is the first African American woman to serve as First Captain of the U.S. Military Academy’s Corps of Cadets, the highest ranking student post at the academy.
Askew graduated as an international studies major.
She was selected as First Captain of the Corps of Cadets for the 2018 academic year in early August.
As First Captain, Askew was responsible for the overall performance of the near 4,400 cadets at West Point and served as a liaison between the corps and the administration.
In August, West Point officials said that Askew exemplifies the academy’s values of duty, honor and country.
In an interview with Glamour Magazine, Askew talked about what it was like to be selected for the position of First Captain.
“People ask me, ‘What’s it like to be the first black woman in your position?’ And I’m like, ‘The same way it felt to be a black woman for the past 21 years.’ I’m sensitive to how I perceive others, because I’ve been frustrated with the limitations of how people perceive me,” she told the magazine.
Askew, who shared with Glamour Magazine that she was sexually assaulted in basic training at West Point, summarized her thoughts on the ideas she tried to implement as First Captain.
“The most important thing for us is not to define West Point as a boys’ club. The boys aren’t in charge here. I’m in charge,” she said. “For me, it’s about, how can we be good to one another? I’m focused on incorporating into our curriculum what right looks like, instead of just avoiding what wrong looks like.”
In November, Askew was one of 32 students in the U.S. to be selected as a Rhodes Scholar. One hundred Rhodes Scholars are selected worldwide. The scholarships are worth about $68,000 a year and cover postgraduate studies at Oxford University in England.