Rai Sengupta, a DSPI MSc student, enjoyed a Royal appointment when she spoke at the opening ceremony of Trinity College Oxford's new Levine Building, an event graced by HRH The Prince of Wales.
His Royal Highness spoke at a ceremony attended by members of the College’s Governing Body, students, staff and some of the many people who contributed to the development of the new building.
Rai, one of eight students invited, said: 'It was incredible to speak to an audience comprising Prince Charles, the Vice Chancellor of the University, professors, donors, and current and former students, and faculty members.
As the spotlight shone on me, I spoke of my experiences of studying at Oxford and my future aspirations of contributing to women and child development in India's policy sector.
It was wonderful to have interacted with Prince Charles, who showed a keen interest in my work in policy evaluation and also discussed potential areas of future research exploration, all in the brief moments we got to speak.
I feel proud to have represented my country and brought issues close to home and heart to this global stage.
DSPI has been a wonderful department to belong to. I have been trained by incredible academics - all stalwarts in their fields - and have been guided in balancing innovation with methodological rigor. I am certain that the learnings from my time at DSPI will help me pursue my future career ambitions of working in India's women and child development sector, and in developing sustainable policy solutions for vulnerable communities across my country.'
On opening the Building, the Prince of Wales said: ‘Trinity College presents the University at a human scale. And the work of your academics – as we’ve seen – is making a real difference to people’s lives. And I can only congratulate you all on the vital work you do and the generosity of spirit that underpins it.
‘And ladies and gentlemen, that same generosity has clearly infused the development of this building. So many former students contributed to the fundraising campaign, no doubt because of their own memorable and life-changing experiences here and the desire to make that possible for others.'
The Levine Building is a substantial new development set in the heart of Trinity's historic site in central Oxford. It is the first major upgrade of the college’s academic facilities in more than 50 years. Read more about the building and the official opening on the Trinity College website.
Picture: Ian Wallman/Trinity College.
* Rai also recently presented her MSc thesis research as part of the Trinity College Research Showcase, where she was one of 12 Trinity students presenting their work to an audience of students, faculty members and senior management staff. She was the only DSPI student to present.
She said: 'The Trinity College Research Showcase was an incredible experience to be part of. Learning about the fantastic research being done by the students at Trinity, across a diverse range of fields from sociology to clinical neurosciences, was truly inspiring. Moreover, it was wonderful to present my own work to an audience of students and professors at the College, and to gain their diverse insights on my research.