Catherine Ward, who recently graduated from Duke University, is a Rotary Scholar studying at the University of Cambridge. She is sponsored by Southwest Durham Rotary Club. Below is her first update after having arrived in the U.K.
I am writing after having been in the U.K. for less than a week. However, it has been a packed week, and I have quickly fallen in love with the University of Cambridge. I am a member of Pembroke College Cambridge, which was founded in 1347 and is the third oldest in Cambridge. Earlier this week, I matriculated to both the college and the university. Matriculation is a formal ceremony in which you wear traditional academical dress and sign your name as an official member of both the college and the university. I have attached a photo from my matriculation.
As a graduate ‘fresher,’ or new student, I have enjoyed learning more about university life from students already attending Cambridge. I have been grateful for the community atmosphere at my college – everyone has been incredibly welcoming. Moreover, I have enjoyed meeting with Rotary Scholars attending other colleges here at Cambridge. The Rotary community in East Anglia is quite strong, and I am doing my best to send the U.K. warm feelings from District 7710. The Cambridge Rutherford Club is hosting me during my time in the U.K.
I have begun my course, and during this term, which is called Michaelmas Term, I am preparing research on equity in education, a concept I am first probing philosophically before applying it to my interests in refugee youth. I have a spectacular supervisor, and I am taking a Research Methods Strand to enhance my research abilities. My MPhil group in the Education, Globalisation, and International Development track is a remarkably diverse bunch, with students from all around the world. I am excited to learn from individuals who come from different backgrounds than me over the course of this year.
I can not put my gratitude to District 7710 into words. I will do my best to serve as an ambassador of goodwill while here and to grow in a manner that will allow me to impact basic education and literacy in the future.