Receiving a scholarship to attend ANU was life-changing for Sai Campbell. Sai has once again proven herself an outstanding talent and has been selected as one of three Australia-at-large Rhodes Scholars for 2023, with her sight set on studying emergency infectious disease response at Oxford University.
“I’m excited to learn,” says Sai. “Oxford appealed to me because of the fantastic technical training it offers, the access to rich databanks not available in Australia, and the myriad opportunities to interrogate economic, political, and ethical dimensions of the big problems we face in epidemiology.”
Sai completed her Honours research at NCEPH, as well as working as a research assistant investigating the health impacts of e-cigarettes, public health interventions associated with COVID-19, outbreak response preparedness, and health inequalities. Here she learned how research in epidemiology can have real-time impacts on how people and communities live, their health, and wellbeing.
“I find it so gratifying to know that what I do can make the world a better place,” says Sai.
“I want to continue to develop my technical skills via an MSc at Oxford to prepare for a PhD and hopefully find my place in the world as a researcher that tackles some of its biggest problems.”
Sai is a firm believer that universities should reflect broader society, and this was one of the factors that appealed her to studying at Oxford.
“Oxford is home to people from all over the world and walks of life with such interesting viewpoints on how it should work. I intend to challenge my way of thinking and return to my roots with a more thoughtful understanding of how the world works and where I fit into the solution to its problems.”
For universities to reflect this diversity however, they need to be more accessible and a realistic option for everyone, says Sai.
“I was only able to attend ANU with the assistance of Centrelink, bursaries and scholarships. These aids completely altered the trajectory of my life and that of my family.”
“It is such an immense privilege to attend university. What I’ve learned through this experience is that things like equity are not zero-sum games, and we all win when we value diversity and centre the voices of others. It has been energising to work in this space over the course of my studies at ANU and I hope to continue to do so at Oxford.”
“Candidly, I felt that I didn’t belong at a place like ANU when I first arrived. However, it was my friends and supervisors who helped me find my way. I want to particularly thank Katie Glass, Kamalini Lokuge, Emily Banks, Sam Colquhoun, Jenny Welsh, and Amelia Yazidjoglou for their support here at NCEPH.”
**Sai would also like to thank her family, friends, and colleagues in the NCEPH community for their enthusiastic support of her education and academic pursuits.