Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Meet Claire James ‘25

Dean's Scholarship Recipient

Where are you from and what is your background?
I grew up in Washington DC. After graduating from high school, I attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where I earned a BA in Comparative Religion. Several years later I chose to go back to school for Economics and earned a second BA at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME.

Why did you apply for this graduate program and decide to study at USF?
In my search for graduate programs, the MS in International and Development Economics at USF appealed to me for a number of reasons. I was specifically looking for a program that did not offer PhDs as I wanted the opportunity to work closely with faculty, something that is not always available to master’s students. I love that the program provides a strong foundation in applied economics with an emphasis on development. Finally, the opportunity to do field work abroad was too good to pass up.

What impacts has the Dean's Scholarship had on your ability to further your studies?
Receiving the Dean’s Scholarship has made a significant impact on my ability to attend school. Because of the scholarship I am able to spend my first semester focusing exclusively on my classes. I have been able to use the funding to cover a large portion of my tuition, allowing me to use my remaining funds on school supplies and living expenses and reduce the number of loans I need.

What are your career ambitions?
I hope to work in economic development programs abroad. My dream would be to work for one of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects.

What is something unique or interesting about you?
I love dance. I've been doing various forms of belly dance since I was a teenager with a focus on Egyptian styles.


The Dean’s Scholarship recognizes a select group of incoming students in graduate programs, who the admission committees believe will make a substantial contribution to the programs. Recipients are selected based on merit. To be considered for the Dean's Scholarship, students must apply to their program by the program's priority deadline.

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