Tag Archive for Rhodes Scholar

Wickham ’21 Awarded Rhodes Scholarship for Post-Graduate Study

Fitzroy "Pablo" Wickham is the Jamaica 2021 Rhodes Scholar.

Fitzroy “Pablo” Wickham is the Jamaica 2021 Rhodes Scholar.

Fitzroy “Pablo” Wickham ’21 has been named the Jamaica 2021 Rhodes Scholar.

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, international scholarship programs in the world. Each year, it provides about 100 fully-funded scholarships to students around the world for post-graduate study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. According to the website, the “Rhodes Selection Committees are looking for young people of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.”

At Wesleyan, Wickham is a double major in theater and neuroscience and behavior. At the University of Oxford under the Rhodes Scholarship, he plans to pursue an MPhil and DPhil in neuroscience. Later, he plans to attend medical school and ultimately hopes to establish his own neuroscience research laboratory and practice in Jamaica.

Wickham’s selection as the Jamaica Rhodes Scholar was announced by Jamaica’s Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, on Nov. 22.

Wickham grew up in a single-parent household in the Jamaican countryside, on the northern part of the island in the parish of St. Ann. He and his sister were raised by their mother, Florence Wickham, a high school mathematics teacher. Wickham notes that St. Ann is birthplace to such acclaimed talent as world-renowned musician Bob Marley; political activist Marcus Garvey; and father of the U.S. Vice President-elect, Donald Harris (Kamala Harris reportedly spent her summers there), yet “remains very underdeveloped and rural, boasting a rich agricultural history.”

After completing fifth and sixth grade in North Carolina, Wickham longed to return to the United States for college. He chose to attend a small liberal arts school given his interest in both neuroscience and theater, and said Wesleyan’s generous financial aid package made it possible for him to afford college in the U.S.

Kahindi ’18 Awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Claudia Kahindi '18, second from right, was awarded the 2019 Rhodes Scholarship for Kenya. From left, Elizabeth Kiss, warden of the Rhodes Trust, Sheila M'mbijjewe, Rhodes Selector, Kahindi, and Nic Hailey, the British High Commissioner to Kenya.

Claudia Kahindi ’18, second from right, was awarded the 2019 Rhodes Scholarship for Kenya. From left, Elizabeth Kiss, warden of the Rhodes Trust, Sheila M’mbijjewe, Rhodes Selector, Kahindi, and Nic Hailey, the British High Commissioner to Kenya.

Claudia Kahindi ’18 is a recipient of the 2019 Rhodes Scholarship for Kenya. Established in 1903, the Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, international scholarship programs in the world. It offers about 100 fully funded scholarships each year to students around the world for post-graduate study at the University of Oxford in the UK. Recipients are selected based on their “outstanding intellect and character” as well as their motivation to “engage with global challenges,” serve others, and become “value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future.”

“For me, receiving the Rhodes Scholarship means that even the most disadvantaged person can achieve their ultimate vision through immense hard work, persistence, and support from other people,” said Kahindi, who is originally from Kilifi, Kenya. She attended Wesleyan with assistance from the Kenya Scholar-Athlete Project (KenSAP) and graduated with honors in the College of Social Studies as well as a minor in African studies.

Perkins ’09 Awarded 2010 Rhodes Scholarship

Russell Perkins ‘09 was awarded a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship.

Russell Perkins ’09 was awarded a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship.

Russell Perkins ’09 was awarded a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship.

Perkins, from Evanston, Ill., graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University in May. He majored in the College of Letters (COL) with a senior thesis titled “Violence in Adornian Aesthetics and the Art of Anselm Kiefer;” his advisor was Khachig Tölölyan, professor of English, professor of letters.

Perkins co-founded Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education which offers Wesleyan courses at Connecticut’s Cheshire Correctional Institution. In addition to offering education for selected inmates, the program provides research and volunteer opportunities for Wesleyan students and faculty.

Perkins entered his name into the Rhodes competition, in part because he wanted to study at Oxford University in England.

“Oxford has one of the most exciting philosophy departments in the
world and I was eager for the potential opportunity to take part in
that,” he says.

The process moved forward and during the fall he received notification that he was a finalist. Up to that point cautious optimism had ruled his thinking, but as he drew closer the reality and gravity of his position began to sink in.

“The whole interview process was pretty surreal,” he said. “There was a dinner
party with the finalists and judges the night before and I felt like I couldn’t get a coherent sentence out. That was tough.”

However, he found the final interview less pressure-packed, and “surprisingly fun.” But after he was done, he found himself in a room with all the other finalists. They waited together for several hours until all the interviews were completed.

“And then they came out when it was all finished and informed the individuals who had won right there,” Perkins said. “It was almost like some reality show. I was extremely surprised when I was told I was a winner. The finalists were such an impressive group—anyone could have been chosen and it would’ve made sense. So when they named me, I felt truly fortunate.”

A classical pianist and avid cyclist, he taught a small discussion workshop in philosophy at the Cheshire prison as an undergraduate. Russell plans to do the B.Phil. at Oxford University. And then…?

“I’m taking this one step at a time. I’ve been so fortunate at Wesleyan to have opportunities to learn from such inspiring professors and pursue initiatives like the Prison Program. I can only hope my experience at Oxford will continue in that vein. I intend to continue to work towards democratizing access to educational opportunity—but what form that will take, I don’t know yet.”