Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Rhodes Scholar ready to work for national development

Published:Saturday | November 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Shakeba Foster

Jamaica's 2017 Rhodes Scholar Shakeba Foster hopes to make a valuable contribution to national development, just like Rhodes Scholars before her have done.

"It means so much because the Rhodes Scholarship has such a wealth of history. The persons who have been Rhodes Scholars have contributed so much to society. They have contributed much to their own fields, so I have a great responsibility to ensure that I keep that standard up, not only for my benefit, but for my country on a whole," Foster told The Gleaner.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen announced Foster as recipient of the scholarship at King's House in St Andrew on Thursday.

Foster, 23, is a past student of the Tredegar Park All-Age School, St Jago High School, and the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona.

At the UWI, Foster achieved a bachelor of science degree in banking and finance before undertaking her master's degree in economics. She is currently an assistant lecturer in the Department of Economics at the UWI.

As a Rhodes Scholar, Foster will attend the prestigious Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

"At Oxford, I will be pursuing an MPhil in economics, and I hope to move on to a DPhil in economics," she said.

Her Christian background and her family are what she credits for accomplishments.




"The major part of my life is that I'm a Christian and I try to live up to the best moral and righteous standards, and so to be able to excel there and to be able to excel academically as well is really outstanding. I am grateful to everybody who has been helping me on this journey. My family is a great support. I'm just elated!" Foster said.

Foster finished her undergraduate studies with a 4.1 grade point average and a first-class honours degree. She completed her master's in economics at the top of her class, with distinction.

Asked what she wants to become when all the studying is done, she was uncertain, telling The Gleaner that she would just be working on her immediate goals for the time being.

"I have a passion for teaching, and so that's one of the reasons I am lecturing in the department. I really have no definite plans where I want to be 10 to 15 years from now. I am just working on my immediate goals just to see where they bring me," said Foster.