Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus is pleased to announce that our Open Campus alumna Alyssa Mohammed of Trinidad and Tobago is the 2023 Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholar. Alyssa outperformed 10 candidates from across the Caribbean - Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago - who competed for this prestigious scholarship.
Alyssa graduated as part of the Class of 2022 with a BSc in Sociology with First Class Honours. She is currently a student at The UWI St. Augustine Campus, pursuing the Postgraduate Diploma in Gender and Development Studies. She is passionate about gender equity and hopes to work to advance the position of women in the Caribbean.
In speaking about her future goals, Alyssa stated, “I have a long history of working for and volunteering with local nonprofit women's organizations, especially Muslim women's organizations, and I am very passionate about improving the gender inequality situation at home and at large. I hope to study the MSc in Sociology or the MPhil in Sociology and Demography at Oxford, which I hope will allow me to look at gender issues on a macro scale, enabling me to see the interconnections between gender and other institutions and social processes in society. This, I hope, will allow me to make a tenable gender impact, especially in the areas of sexual health and reproductive rights and agency.”
Mr Gary Asselberg, Alyssa’s teacher during her studies at the Open Campus and her coach for the Rhodes Scholarship interview, noted, “It is my hope that all Open Campus students will follow Alyssa's path to learning. That is the ability to grasp core concepts in one context and then apply that knowledge in an unrelated context to produce a fresh and exciting explanation of how things are and why. Her ability for transference is a talent that is difficult to teach yet Alyssa did learn, and so can you. She intuitively understood the concept of confirming negatives, that a failed investigation has the potential to bring us closer to the truth. These character traits are a prerequisite if one is to thrive under the spotlight as a young leader for gender issues in the Caribbean.”
Alyssa will take up her scholarship at the University of Oxford in October 2023. She will be among a cohort of over 100 Scholars from around the world who will pursue fully sponsored postgraduate studies.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and most prestigious international scholarship programme, which enables outstanding young people from around the world to access a life-changing opportunity to undertake full-time postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford. The Rhodes Scholar is chosen based on a stringent set of criteria, including academic achievement, significant personal energy, a desire to make a difference, and the capacity to collaborate with others to accomplish one's goals.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Open Campus, Dr. Francis O. Severin is delighted by the news. He urges that, “Alyssa’s accomplishment in this rigorous and competitive Rhodes Scholarship, underscores the critical importance of the Open Campus, its mission of empowering the hitherto under-served in the Caribbean, and unequivocally proves that those who do not see the value of the Open Campus beyond the ‘conventional’ towns and cities, are tragically misguided and deluded. Alyssa Mohammed bears incontrovertible witness to our tremendous value. Well done!” The UWI Open Campus Executive Management Committee salutes and congratulates Alyssa on this momentous achievement and wishes her success as she pursues her studies at the University of Oxford.
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