Jovante Anderson of Kingston, Jamaica, is this year’s recipient of the Lafayette-Jamaica Scholarship. The scholarship covers full tuition for four years at Lafayette College as well as a $4,000 stipend for a short-term study abroad course.
It was established last year during Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s visit to Lafayette. She gave the keynote address at the College’s 179th Commencement in May 2014, and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. The scholarship announcement was made July 21, 2015 during a formal press event by the prime minister.
Anderson is the second student to receive this award from the College. Rojhae Panton, the inaugural Lafayette-Jamaica Scholarship recipient, is a Class of 2018 chemical engineering major from St. Catherine, Jamaica.
Lafayette economics professor Gladstone “Fluney” Hutchinson, who served as the director-general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica for two years, helped facilitate the creation of the scholarship. He explains that Lafayette’s interdisciplinary approach to education—most notably its blend of the liberal arts and engineering—is uncharacteristic of the Jamaican and British models of higher education.
“The scholarship is a wonderful demonstration of Lafayette’s commitment to leadership in an increasingly interconnected world,” says Hutchinson. “Jamaican efforts to build a modern economy around becoming a global commercial hub will require it to strengthen its human capital and skills.”
At Ardenne High School in Kingston, Anderson focused on English and Spanish literature, Caribbean studies, and theater. One of his favorite projects was adapting a Caribbean novel into a one-hour play that he wrote and directed for a student-led workshop. A “huge theater junkie” who performed with the Jamaica Musical Theater Company, Anderson used the opportunity to show how language creates and re-creates reality and shapes how people perceive the world around them.
Anderson, who has never lived outside Jamaica, is enthusiastic about the opportunities and challenges that await him on College Hill. Calling people his passion, he plans to study psychology and English as he pursues his dream of becoming a speech pathologist. Inspired by a cousin who had to overcome stuttering and learning disabilities in order to communicate comfortably, Anderson wants to help others, and he’s confident that the resources at Lafayette will help make that happen.
“I wanted to find a career path that would integrate all my passions—people, language, and communication,” he says. “I’ve always believed that language and communication are gifts. There is something ironically ineffable about a baby’s first words or a person’s last words, about how our lives are shaped by bits and pieces of conversation. When you give someone the chance to improve or regain their speech or communications skills, you’re really opening up their world to all the possibilities for living a fuller life.”
Read more about Jovante Anderson.
Lafayette is a highly selective, national liberal arts college in Easton, Pa. with 2,400 students and 215 full-time faculty, offering a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs including engineering.
Photo: Jovante Anderson, recipient of the 2015 Lafayette-Jamaica Scholarship, was a guest of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller during the press event announcing his award.
Courtesy of Jamaican Office of the Prime Minister. Higher resolution available, https://flic.kr/p/wmutrT.
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