Stories abound over the achievements of Indian and Chinese students in American universities. Last month, 13-year-old child prodigy Sameer Mishra from India stunned the American nation by winning the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington. Yesterday, it is a Malaysian girl’s turn to bag a rare distinction. Dashini Jeyathurai, 24, from Johor Baharu, has been selected a one of ‘two students out of a total of 30 bright students auditioned for delivering the valediction speech on “Disorienting Dilemmas: Getting an Education.” She arrived in the United States in 2004 to pursue an undergraduate course in English and Women’s Studies as her major and minor subjects at the reputed Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The course is courtesy of Starr International Scholarship, awarded by the C V Starr Foundation in the US. 1 This month, Jeyathurai graduated with a summa-cum-laude distinction which is awarded to students who graduate with a 3.90 score and above. She is pursuing undergraduate studies at Carleton, thanks to the Starr International Scholarship, awarded by the C V Starr Foundation in the United States. “I was the only Malaysian out of six students granted scholarships,” she said in an interview with Bernama. Jeyathurai is planning to study for her Ph.D. in English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, a five-year academic endeavour? She began her education at the Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan (Perempuan) Yahya Awal in Johor Babru, continuing further studies in Singapore on an ASEAN scholarship. Jeyathurai has received accolades at Carleton, including the Mortar Board Fund Prize, Niles Prize in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Noyes Prize which is awarded to distinguished scholars from the junior class, This year, she won the Scott Tyler Berguer Prize for demonstrating excellence in character and thought, and the Andrea Iseminger Endowed Scholarship.