Fri | Feb 23, 2018

St Jago old girl Shakeba Foster is 2017 Rhodes Scholar

Published:Thursday | November 17, 2016 | 8:48 PM
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen looks on as 2017 Rhodes Scholar Shakeba Foster reads her Rhodes Scholarship certificate - Rudolph Brown

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

"It's never been easy," she'll tell you, but when Shakeba Foster was announced this afternoon as the 2017 Jamaica Rhodes Scholar it was not hard to wrap herself in a 'surprise' date with destiny.

She is bound for the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world where she'll pursue a Master of Philosophy in economics.

"I am excited. I was a little bit surprised because initially I was doubtful about even applying for the scholarship. I am surprised but grateful," said 23-year-old economics lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

"Given the wealth of history of the scholarship, I would have never thought I would have everything the committee was looking for. More so, I went into a room with nine brilliant folks who were all vying for the scholarship and so I, you would imagine, would have been surprised when I heard my name called as the Rhodes Scholar for 2017."

She credited Professor David Tennant, head of the Department of Economics for pushing her to apply.

Of note, the 2016 winner, Sherona Forrester, was also from the department.

Foster graduated from the UWI last month with a Master of Science degree in economics, with distinction.

Two years before, she had earned a bachelor’s degree with first class honours.

The Riversdale, St Catherine native is a past student of Tulloch Primary, Tredegar Park All-Age and the Anglican-run St Jago High.

The former UWI leadership ambassador said the scholarship has added to her sense of responsibility to the country.

St Jago High principal Collette Feurtado-Pryce was elated. "This is just absolutely fantastic. St Jago is just one awesome dynamic institution." 

About the Rhodes Scholarship:
*The Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1902
*It is named after Cecil Rhodes, a British South African businessman.
*Rhodes has been accused of racism and paving the way for apartheid.
*Almost 8,000 scholars across the world have won the award.