Kittitian Scholar graduates with Masters in Public Administration with Merit

Sonia Boddie

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 10TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Kittitian-born British Chevening Scholarship 2011/2012 winner, Ms Sonia Boddie, has graduated from the International Development Department, in the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham, England.

Ms. Boddie graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration with Merit, on December 6th 2012, after successfully completing her one year programme.

Ms. Boddie was also amongst the few students who attained Distinction grades for their Masters Dissertations.

Her dissertation was entitled, “Analyzing the Hindrances to the Proper Functioning of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in St. Kitts and Nevis during the period 2007-2012”.

Ms. Boddie noted she was inspired to write on this topic after studying the significant role played by this legislative oversight body in other jurisdictions, in her Governance course. She further added that being cognizant of the fact that this committee was not adequately functioning in the federation, she felt undertaking this research would create more awareness amongst the committee’s members of the urgent need for it to function properly and effectively.

As a requirement of her postgraduate program Ms Boddie participated in a one week field visit to Berlin, Germany where she visited various government agencies and interacted with officials to gain a better understanding of the structure of the public service and the policies used to manage public sector organizations in that country.

Additionally, because of the keen interest demonstrated by Boddie in her Diplomacy and Statecraft course which she took as an optional module from the Political Science and International Studies Department, she was also allowed to participate in a one week field visit to Brussels, Belgium with that department.

Boddie (center) celebrated her graduation with her cousins Maureen Pope and Geraldine Thomas

While there, Boddie got the opportunity to visit the European Parliament, Council of the European Union and the NATO headquarters amongst other leading institutions, to discuss policymaking and the institutional challenges of working in those international institutions.

Boddie also capitalized on her time in Brussels, and paid a courtesy visit to Kittitian born Ambassador Her Excellency Shirley Skerritt at the Embassy of the Eastern Caribbean there, to learn about regional diplomacy from another daughter of the soil.

Boddie also demonstrated her competitive spirit while at Birmingham, by competing for a place on the University’s first team to participate in the Harvard National Model United Nations conference held in Boston, U.S.A. via an essay submission and an interview. She was successfully selected, and notes that her participation in Boston has helped her to grow personally and professionally.

The Tabernacle-born scholar also served as Student Representative for her programme to the Staff-Student Committee, representing and defending the issues and interests of her academic peers. Boddie also worked as a Postgraduate Student ambassador assisting the Postgraduate recruitment office with student recruitment, marketing and promotions. Boddie is also currently featured in a two page spread in the University’s 2013 Postgraduate Prospectus, where her colorful immersion into University life is highlighted.

Boddie praises the Chevening Scholarship administrators for hosting various events around the UK, which allowed her to not only travel to destinations in England, but also in Scotland, to interact with other scholars from around the world, British Ministers of Parliament and distinguished professors. She notes that these events significantly enhanced her postgraduate experience and have certainly broadened her knowledge on various issues and cultures, and have helped to improve her public speaking skills. She remarked, “Being a Chevener has been an remarkable life changing experience and I will most definitely like to encourage others to apply for this prestigious scholarship. The application deadline is December 20th 2012 and applications can be completed via http://www.chevening.org/barbadosandtheeasterncaribbean/.”

When asked how she felt about this new academic milestone Boddie quipped, ” It’s been a challenging, yet exciting year and now I am just absolutely over the moon, but at the same time very humbled and thankful for the opportunities I’ve been blessed with and immensely thankful to all those who supported me along this journey.”

She concluded by stating, “I will firstly like to thank the Almighty Creator for giving me the wisdom, understanding, perseverance, health and travel mercies, to accomplish all I set out to accomplish during the year. Secondly, I would like to extend my profound gratitude to the British government for recognizing my potential and granting me the Chevening Scholarship, which not only allowed me to fulfill one, but two of my childhood dreams, which were to pursue postgraduate qualifications and to travel to the United Kingdom. Last but by no means least, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my family, my friends, my loved ones, my professors, my academic mentors, the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Methodist Church community in St. Kitts and Birmingham, for their unwavering love, support, motivation and prayers, which undoubtedly gave me the fuel to accelerate, to the end of this academic journey.”

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