Young Vincentian grabs prestigious scholarship
November 27, 2009

Young Vincentian grabs prestigious scholarship

Kamal Wood, a 22-year-old Vincentian national scholar now studying at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), is the Caribbean’s newest Rhodes Scholar.{{more}}

The final-year maths and computer science student topped a list of seven contenders to take the prestigious scholarship for 2010.

Governor-General of Barbados Sir Clifford Husbands made the announcement on Tuesday at Government House, after a meeting of the Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, which he chairs.

Wood, who is going to Oxford University in Britain, told reporters that when he was very young he wanted to be a doctor, but switched to mathematical modelling and scientific computing.

But he noted that his work could still have some medical applications, since his models could deal with problems such as the spread of diseases.

Describing this type of modelling as “something the Caribbean can do with”, Wood said his planned work utilised cold, hard facts to make projections.

The resident of Dauphine is the second Vincentian to land the Rhodes Scholarship, the first being Robert Luke Browne, two years ago.

Also on the latest short list were three Trinidad and Tobago nationals – Camille Ragnauth, Tamara Maharajh and Jeremie Amoroso – along with Barbadian Kimberley Benjamin and Guyanese Loria-Mae Heywood.

In 2004, when Kamal was a 16-year-old student of the St. Vincent Grammar School, he made national history when he was named the top performer for the region in the CXC CSEC examinations with his 11 grade one passes.

Two years later, Wood again made headlines when he took the Prime Minister’s award for being the most outstanding performer in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Advanced level examinations. In recognition of his performance, he received a trophy, a cash award and a five-year university scholarship.

He is the son of Linus and Cheryl Wood.