Student Highlight

Alyssa SeunarineHampton University Rhodes Finalist, Alyssa Seunarine, Ready to Walk in Cap and Gown

From the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Alyssa Seunarine is one of Hampton University’s most talented students to graduate in 2017. She will graduate Suma Cum Laude (the highest of three high honors) with her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.

In 2016, Seunarine became a finalist for what may be the most prestigious award in the world, the Rhodes Scholarship.

She received the 2017 "President’s Cup" for Hampton’s most astute students. At Honors Day, Seunarine received an award for the "Best Chemical Engineering Student." Shortly after her freshman year, she was named a Hampton Renaissance Scholar, which identifies and prepares students for future prestigious awards.

The youngest of two, Seunarine was raised by two loving and caring parents in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

"I owe all of it to my parents," she said. "Most of the time, I didn’t believe that I could achieve the goals that I had set for myself. My parents were really instrumental in stepping-in during those moments to help me believe in myself and to give me the boost and confidence I needed."

Seunarine attended the all-girls Naparima Girls’ High School in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. After graduating with high honors, Seunarine took a year off to learn more about institutions of higher education in the United States: "I decided I didn’t want to stay in Trinidad. I wanted to have a different experience," said Seunarine.

After applying to several universities, Hampton offered Seunarine a competitive scholarship that helped guide her decision in becoming a Hamptonian. She hasn’t looked back since.

"It was one of the best decisions I made in my life. I have been surrounded by so many people who believed in me and motivated me," she said.

Hampton allowed Seunarine to continue playing her favorite sport, soccer, and gain some new skills when she joined the sailing team.

After graduation, Seunarine will attend the University of Pennsylvania where she will pursue her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics.

Seunarine had the opportunity to tutor students in her field this year. She found joy in helping others and is considering a profession in teaching.