Hampton, VA. - Hampton University Senior Alyssa Seunarine is a finalist to receive, what is widely considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious awards, the Rhodes Scholarship.
Hampton University Student Named Finalist for Rhodes Scholarship
10/28/2016 - #77
"When I got the email, I was so overwhelmed. I was so happy. I was in shock. I called everyone,” said Seunarine.
Seunarine's professors encouraged her to apply for the scholarship, she said, “When I saw how much they believed in me, that is what made me do this. I guessed, they must see something in me.”
Seunarine is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She is currently studying Chemical Engineering at Hampton and is expected to graduate in May 2017.
The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for non-British students to study at the University of Oxford.
"If I do win the scholarship, I plan to major in Computer Science and Philosophy at Oxford," she said.
"The Hampton Renaissance Scholars identifies potential scholars their first year," said Dr. Sabin Duncan, Director of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College at HU. "We communicate with them and meet with them personally. We create a strategy for different types of scholarships they should apply for."
Duncan says there is a difference between students who are just trying to pass a class and those who want to learn.
"Alyssa genuinely wanted to learn. That is what kept her on my radar,” said Dr. Duncan.
Seunarine will complete her final interview for the scholarship in Barbados on Nov. 22nd.
“Everything happens for a reason. whatever happens, I am happy," she said.
HU, currently, has a second Rhodes Scholarship finalist, J'Niyah Knox-Wilson.
“It makes me and our department feel validated. Having two rhodes finalists is unprecedented among HBCU’s,” said Dr. Duncan, Director of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College. “It represents the amount of sacrifice and work that we have done as a department and Dr. Harvey’s confidence in us.”