The University of the West Indies Takes Both 2013 Rhodes Scholarships

Our thanks to Nazma Muller, who has brought to our attention a press release announcing that two graduates of The University of the West Indies (UWI)—one from Jamaica and one from Trinidad—have won the Rhodes scholarships for 2013. Congratulations to these well-deserving students! Here are excerpts of the release:

Vincent Taylor, a 22-year-old computer scientist from the Mona campus of The UWI, won the Jamaican Rhodes award, while Trinidadian Cornelius Kiron Neale, also 22, of the St Augustine campus, copped the Commonwealth Caribbean scholarship. [. . .] The holder of a double major degree in computer science and electronics, Taylor is currently reading for a Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) at the Mona campus, specialising in wireless network sensor security. Neale, who was this year’s valedictorian for The UWI’s St Augustine campus’s Faculty of Science and Agriculture, is only the tenth Trinidadian to win the Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship since its inception in 1962, when it was known as the British Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship. While at Oxford University in England, where the award is tenable, Neale intends to pursue a Masters in Environmental Change and Management, with an emphasis on climate change and its repercussions for the Caribbean. Taylor intends to continue in the field of network security.

Both UWI graduates hail from rural areas – Neale from Marabella in south Trinidad, while Taylor is a native of Junction in the parish of St Elizabeth. Neale said he is “quite humbled by the moment” and he believes “his ambition for the Caribbean region” may have given him the edge over the other students.

“My main area is energy and the environment,” he explained. “I plan on diversifying the region’s energy in terms of solar energy. That is my particular area of research, especially with Trinidad and Tobago and the hydrocarbons that we have been using. “I have done my research on governmental housing to get away from the conventional oil and gas, and it is something that can be spread throughout the Caribbean, because we are blessed with a lot of solar and alternative energy. I think my ambition to drive the Caribbean forward into using renewable energy might be a key factor that may have played out today,” Neale said.

Well-known former Rhodes scholars include the late Professor Rex Nettleford, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus of The UWI, former Jamaican Prime Minister Norman Manley, and former United States President Bill Clinton.

For full press release, see

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