Rajeev Ram smiles during the Matriculation Ceremony in September.

Rajeev Ram is Mona’s 2017 Matriculant

FOR THE PAST three years, The UWI Mona’s matriculant award has been dominated by students from the Mannings School. This trend was recently broken by 20-year-old Rajeev Ram, who is far removed from the Mannings School, hailing not only from another institution, but another country.

The matriculant is that student who enters The UWI with the best Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Placement Examination (CAPE) grades combined. One individual is chosen from each of The UWI’s four campuses. For 2017, Ram was the top matriculant for the Mona Campus. He matriculated to The UWI from Naparima College in Trinidad and Tobago.

This exceptional student copped 16 CSEC subjects, all with distinction, in the following subject areas: Additional Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, Geography, Human and Social Biology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Physics, Social Studies, Spanish and Technical Drawing. He topped this accomplishment with 23 CAPE units across 13 subject areas, namely Agricultural Science, Applied Mathematics, Biology, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry, Communication Studies, Environmental Science, Geography, Physical Education and Sport, Physics, Pure Mathematics and Sociology. He scored a total of 20 grade ones, one grade two and two grade threes.
“I’m interested in a wide array of things,” Ram said simply, when asked why he chose to pursue so many subjects.

In addition to his exemplary performance in academia, Ram has also actively participated in several co- and extra-curricular activities and competitions. “I’m interested in a wide array of things, not just my academics alone. My dad is a secondary school principal, but we learned to do a lot of gardening at home. We also do a lot of woodworking, welding, and similar kinds of activities. As a result, that interdisciplinary approach has introduced me to a wide range of things, and naturally I became curious,” he said.

He has been president of the Naparima College’s Interact Club, he was the most decorated scout of the school’s troop and he was also a school prefect. Additionally, he won numerous National Essay and Art Competitions and was in the top 20 of the Trinidad and Tobago Mathematics Olympiad. He represented his school at the Rotary Club of Port of Spain’s Model United Nations General Assembly and was the feature speaker at the Sports Desk’s 18th Secondary School Leadership Symposium. Additionally, Ram volunteers at the Princes Town District Health Facility as a member of the medical records department.

Passionate about helping to make the lives of others easier, he chose to study medicine. He is now in the first semester of a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

“I chose medicine because at a very young age I used to go with my grandparents to the clinic. Both suffered with heart conditions, and my grandmother also had diabetes.
To go through the public health system, we had to reach before seven o’clock to get a good place to sit at the clinic,” he recalled. He said most times “lunch time” would arrive and his grandparents would still be waiting to see the doctor. “When I become a medical professional, I will be able to solve these problems,” he said.
“I think that the medical system should be customer service oriented so that when somebody needs help, they’re able to access it quickly and easily,” he added. Ram hopes to be one of the many successful UWI medical school graduates who proudly and successfully serve their country and region.

As the Matriculant for 2017, he was awarded a UWI Open Scholarship, which covers his accommodation, books and provides a meal allowance for the entire period of his degree. His tuition is covered by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.