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Fern Elise Foster
[Class of 2004]

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Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Fern Elise Foster began college at Johns Hopkins University after completing high school in 1999.  Though she initially began her university experience as a computer science major, her desire to study a field that placed its emphasis on man over machine ultimately inspired her to pursue a bachelor’s of arts in Public Health. She graduated with her BA from Johns Hopkins University in Spring 2004.

When not mired in schoolwork, Fern participated in a range of student groups, including the Caribbean Cultural Society (CCS) at Hopkins. Always an island girl at heart, her work with CCS allowed her to find a bit of the warmth of home in the coldest of Baltimore winters. It was a refuge at a time that so many changes were occurring in her life including her first time living away from home, working a part-time job, and her first time slipping on an icy sidewalk!  It was also the first time that she realized that her experience as an Afro-Caribbean was vastly different from her African-American brethren. It was her desire to understand the experiences of other West Indian immigrants to the United States which drew Fern to the History of African-Americans at Johns Hopkins project. Writing about Dr. Knight’s journey to Hopkins not only enriched her understanding of the challenges faced by both native and immigrant Blacks in America, but also validated some of the emotions and experiences she had during her years in the United States.

Fern plans to do pursue graduate work in the field of Public Health. And she hopes that her work with this project will continue to broaden her understanding of the immigrant and African-American experience in America.

(submitted Summer 2005)







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