November 28, 2011

Mount Allison's 50th Rhodes Scholar: Rebecca Anne Dixon

I recently received an e-mail from a parent of a prospective parent who was worried by, among other things, rumors she heard that Mount Allison graduates don't perform do well enough to make it to graduate school. I wish I had waited another hour to respond to her:


Rebecca Anne Dixon is Mount Allison's 50th Rhodes Scholar
2011-11-28 14:47:18
Mount Allison University is proud to announce that Rebecca Anne Dixon, from Ottawa, ON, is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship. Valued at over $100,000, the scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world. Dixon is the ninth Mount Allison student in the past 11 years to receive the award, and brings the University’s number of Rhodes Scholars to 50, more per capita than any other institution in Canada.
"This is an incredibly overwhelming, joyous, and humbling experience for me," says Dixon. "The opportunity to study and live in a place as vibrant and intellectually stimulating as Oxford is just thrilling and I am so grateful to all of the people who have supported and encouraged me throughout this experience."
"I am delighted for Rebecca," says President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. "She is an exceptional student and this is a truly outstanding achievement. I also congratulate our faculty and staff for making Mount Allison an environment where students like Rebecca can flourish in learning, thinking, and understanding our fast-changing world and preparing for a rewarding future.
Dixon came to Mount Allison after spending two years in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Schule Schloss Salem in Ueberlingen, Germany. She plans to study an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford next fall.
"It's a strong program that offers an excellent grounding in the foundational economic, political, and social topics in development, as well as reviewing the history and internal debates of the discipline."
In her third year at Mount Allison, Dixon was awarded a prestigious Killam Fellowship — a unique exchange program between Canada and the U.S. She spent her semester abroad at American University in Washington, D.C., where she took classes in American Foreign Policy and Sustainable Cities at the University’s School of International Service. She also interned with the South Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies — a think tank based in D.C.
"My studies there were very formative in defining my research interests for my thesis."
At the age of 10 Dixon won a UNESCO award for her work to help children in Ukraine affected by floods. In high school, she travelled to India volunteering in a government public school in Mumbai. For her university honours project, Dixon spent the summer in India researching what platforms exist for public consultation in urban development. More recently, she won a coveted Canada's Famous Five Award for a project to educate children about their rights.
In addition to her studies, Dixon has been involved in many community activities and projects on and off campus including: ATLIS (Atlantic International Studies Organization); the Argosy (Mount Allison’s independent student newspaper); Oxfam Mount Allison; the Cumberland North Academy Mentorship program (reading and literacy volunteer program in a local elementary school); the Mount Allison German Club; MOSAIC (Mount Allison’s international students society); and Global Brigades Mount Allison (an international network that provides communities in developing nations with sustainable health care solutions in Honduras).
"I think the Mount Allison community fosters the skills, experiences, and confidence in students to apply for opportunities such as the Rhodes Scholarship," she says.
Following her time at Oxford, Dixon hopes to work at the logistical level of a development organization abroad. She says she would like to eventually return to Canada to work.
"It has been my professors, friends, and extracurricular activities at Mount Allison that have given me a renewed appreciation of Canada."
Rhodes alumni include Liberal leader Bob Rae, former Premier Danny Williams, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
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