Dr. Caryl McFarlane, senior program officer for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship and Mellon Programs at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, NJ, delivered the keynote address during Heritage University’s annual Spring Convocation April 17.
During her address, Dr. McFarlane told a story of how, during the mid-20th century, her parents overcame internalized racism at home in the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, in order to pursue careers in higher education in the United States. She shared several points intended to inspire students, including knowing and believing in yourself, knocking on the door of opportunity, and especially, not letting a love interest push you off track.
“I’ve seen it too many times. Don’t allow it to so consume your time and attention that you neglect your studies and forget or lose sight of your goal,” said McFarlane.
Before beginning her work at the foundation, McFarlane was involved in numerous activities in the larger Princeton community, including teaching a variety of courses for women and recruiting, developing and training teams for work overseas with impoverished youth in the Caribbean.
Spring Convocation is an annual ceremony that recognizes the accomplishments of students and faculty.