Every year, one postgraduate student from Bermuda is selected for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. This year, according to a University release, that student was Isabelle Stone, BC ’18—the first Boston College graduate to be selected for the scholarship since the fall of 2003, when Brett Huneycutt, BC ’03, and Paul Taylor, BC ’04, jointly became the first-ever BC students to earn the honor as a part of the Rhodes class of 2004.
Winners of the award receive a full scholarship to Oxford University. Stone—who majored in economics and minored in philosophy and faith, peace, and justice—plans to study economics there starting next fall, according to the release.
“All of Isabelle’s faculty at Boston College are proud of her latest accomplishment in winning a 2019 Rhodes Scholarship,” Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley said in the release. “I’m especially pleased to see how her PULSE placement at Casa Nueva Vida turned out to be, as she excelled in the classroom and beyond in her undergraduate year.
The release also said that Stone has worked for Nephila Capital in her home country of Bermuda since graduating from BC. Nephila Capital is an investment management company that specializes in reinsurance risk. There, she has helped the World Bank conduct research development projects.
Stone’s senior thesis focused on racial justice and income inequality in Bermuda, which she said she feels has been overlooked as a research opportunity.
“Seeing the disparity between what most of the Boston College community grew up with and what families just 15 minutes away in Jamaica Plain are going through, adding to what I studied in my classes, has made me want to combine the big-picture approach of economics with the care and concern for the individual that’s at the heart of Jesuit education,” Stone said in the release.
“A leading Bermudian economist told me this is exactly why our country needs young Bermudians to come home and dive into this field. After completing my studies at Oxford, this is exactly what I plan to do.”
The scholarship is based on an evaluation of an individual’s scholastic achievement, athletic success, and personal and moral excellence during their time in college, according to the office of the Bermuda Rhodes Scholarship website.
During her time at BC, Stone was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Nu, and Omicron Delta honor societies, volunteered at Best Buddies in Newton, and was a member of Americans for Informed Democracy, Model United Nations, and WZBC radio, according to the release.
“Issy combines a compassionate heart with an intellectually curious and rigorous mind; and an easy-going spirit eager for fun with a strong determination and will to change the world for the better,” said Paul Cichello, associate professor of the practice in the economics department. “She’s willing to openly share her ideas and passion for social justice.”
Kathleen Hirsch, a professor in the philosophy department, commended Stone’s passion for social justice as well, citing her empathic nature as well as her analytical skills as the attributes that make Stone uniquely qualified for the Rhodes Scholarship. Hirsch worked with Stone during her time in BC’s PULSE program, a year-long course that combines an education in theology and philosophy with hands-on service.
Ultimately, Stone said her journey hasn’t been a linear one directly to Oxford, but the end result was due to the discoveries she made as she traversed the academic pathway the University alid out for her.
“I came [to BC] with the idea of getting a high-paying finance job, but I got swept up in BC’s Jesuit ideals of social justice and giving back to the community,” Stone said in the release.
Featured Image Courtesy of University Communications