P.E.I. woman's term at Ivy League school 'surreal'

Meagan McCardle's story started on a farm in Middleton, P.E.I., which led to Kinkora Regional High School and now Brown University in Rhode Island.

'The people I've met is the best part'

Brown University is one of the best places in the world to study data science, says Meagan McCardle. (Submitted by Meagan McCardle)

Meagan McCardle's story started on a farm in Middleton, P.E.I., which led to Kinkora Regional High School and now Brown University in Rhode Island.

McCardle, now 24 years old, still wonders how her path led her to the Ivy League school.

"I ask myself that every day when I walk across campus," she said.

"It still seems a little bit surreal."

McCardle made it to Brown with the help of two scholarships: A $10,000 Knowledge First Financial award and a $15,000 Fulbright Scholarship. The Fulbright was especially exciting for her. She spent seven months putting together her application.

"The financial value of the Fulbright is nothing compared to its social and networking value," she said.

Meagan McCardle earned a master's degree in social psychology at Memorial University in St. John's. (Submitted by Meagan McCardle)

The Fulbright Foundation is also sending her to seminars and other locations, and weekly Fulbright events give her the opportunity to meet other Fulbright scholars from as far back as the 1970s and as recent as last year.

"The people I've met is the best part of the Fulbright and I think that's what really bolsters it as an organization," she said.

Studies in statistics

McCardle started her university career in psychology at UPEI, and already has a master's degree from Memorial University in social psychology.

"The core of everything that I do is how humans interact, what we do on a daily basis, and using statistics and computer science to make sense of it all," she said.

With a good grounding in psychology from Canadian universities, McCardle chose Brown to bolster her education in statistics and data science. Her current project at Brown is tracking children in daycare with Fitbits, and analyzing what external factors might be making them more or less active.

McCardle is already thinking about the future after her second master's degree. She like to spend some working for a non-profit or perhaps in government, before returning to school to earn a PhD.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning


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