A video got viral in the social media few days back. A 15 year old girl with her amazing way of talking in a national debate show telecasted on BTV two decades ago made people wonder who she is. She said in her debate speech, “I’m not over ambitious, I don’t hold the rights to be so, I am but a simple girl, afraid of the world around me. And I’m just fine.’’
Yes, being ambitious in our society for a girl is difficult but if she has faith in herself, she can definitely pursue her dreams. So did this girl- Rebecca Shafee. A girl-next-door with extraordinary brilliance has touched her rainbow sky. Now the question arises- What makes her extraordinary?
Rebecca Shafee is someone who believes a woman can clinch her dreams at any point of her life. She set a path to destroy all types of gender and social norms. Our society doesn’t quite support the feminist viewpoints, thus women here are deprived as well as victims of inferior treatment. A woman can never do what a man can. And this girl has proved this statement WRONG.
After completing Rebecca’s SSC and HSC from Holycross College, she got a chance to get admitted into BUET. But her excellence brought her California Institute of Technology. She did her BS in Physics with CG 4.00 out of 4.00 and completed her PhD. from Harvard University. Her thesis subject was Measuring Black Hole Spin. Despite of being an Astrophysics Graduate, she moved to medical science for higher studies. Rebecca Shafee is currently doing her Postdoctoral Fellow in Genetics in Harvard medical School and involved with Broad Institute of MIT .
Rebecca Shafee is not only a Harvard Grad but also a teacher in Harvard Medical School. She teaches quantum mechanics, electricity & magnetism and biophysics. She has worked in Neuroscience for several years and currently researching on the relationship between genetic variance and neuropsychiatric disorders.
She has won many awards for her eminence and dedication in various scientific fields. Swartz Postdoctoral Fellowship in Computational Neuroscience under Harvard University Center for Brain Science, Measuring Black Hole Spin Grant under NASA, Eric R. Keto Prize for Best PhD. Thesis, Carnation Merit Award from California institute of Technology are some examples. She has written articles about neuroscience in many journals and given several presentations on this topic in different states around the USA. The titles are bit heavy for my undergrad brain!
Apart from her academic life, she is a mother of one.
Rebecca has proven the social norms are incorrect. Rebecca has proven a dedicated mind can achieve anything. Once she believed in herself. Now she turned her dreams into reality. She actually fulfilled the aims she had set. Coming from a country which has unlimited boundaries for women; Rebecca has shown that a girl can break all the boundaries if she has willpower and self-confidence.
A viral video has inspired many girls in our country. Rebecca Shafee — this name has become an inspiration itself. She has shown the world what women are capable of and they are much more than the society expects them to be.
That ordinary little girl has become extraordinary because of her thoughts. She is an inspiration for the youth. Rebecca Shafee is now a motivation for many. Atleast a third world country like ours has someone to look up to, someone with whom they can relate their struggle of being a girl and then take aspiration and stand by their own feet. A girl with her individual identity can conquer anything. She has fire within and excellence within her. Most importantly every ordinary girl is extraordinary in her own way. So find out the hidden superiority and become the next Rebecca Shafee — a strong and independent person!
To Know More About Rebecca Shafee
Department of Marketing
Faculty of Business Studies
University of Dhaka