TROY freshman earns world-class ranking

Posted: Tuesday, 11 May 2010

TROY—What do Steve Stricker, Rafael Nadal, Dinara Safina and Troy University student Kashmala Rashid all have in common?

Each has earned a number-three world ranking.

While the first three on the list are household names to fans of pro golf and tennis, Kashmala’s world ranking is for academic—not athletic—performance. Kashmala, a Troy University freshman finance major from Pakistan, recently learned that she achieved the third highest mark in the world on the sociology portion of the Cambridge International A Level Examinations.

The Cambridge Examinations are given to students in 6,000 schools in 150 nations worldwide to establish international qualifications for college admissions. More than 90,000 students worldwide take Cambridge Examinations each year.

The TROY freshman said she just learned of her world ranking in early April, even though she took the test in June 2009.

“So many students take the test that it takes about a year to rank them,” Kashmala said. “Several different examiners check all the papers. My dad called me at 3 a.m. when the letter came to my school in Pakistan. He was so proud.”

Kashmala is not egotistical about her high test score, pointing out that one of her classmates in Pakistan achieved the number-one score in the world on the same test.

David Kent, who supervises Kashmala in her on-campus job in the tutoring center for the English as a Second Language Office, pointed out that Kashmala achieved her third-in-the-world ranking even though she took the test in English and her primary language is Urdu. Kent said Kashmala, with her excellent language skills and sunny disposition, is a welcome addition to TROY.

“Kashmala is a real asset to our tutoring center,” Kent said. “She has the ability to speak with the students both as a peer and an expert. She displays an intellectual maturity considerably beyond that of a typical freshman.”

Kashmala decided to attend Troy University on a Chancellor’s Scholarship because she is familiar with Alabama, as her brother attends school in the state and her uncle lives in Huntsville. She said she “felt safer” attending school in Alabama.

“This was not a culture shock to me, being in Alabama,” she said. “I have never felt homesick. I like my routine and my classes.”