Scholar Profiles

Ben Keegan

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Liverpool, England
High School: The Blue Coat School

When people ask me what I study, the look on their faces when I follow “Math and Physics” with “History” is truly remarkable – they never really understand how these seemingly opposite disciplines can complement each other. For me, I found quite early on that the quantitative subjects came naturally to me: I had always been good with numbers, and my passion for Math and Physics stemmed from there. As time went by I found it harder and harder to categorise the world subject by subject, constantly making links between different disciplines, creating a web of knowledge to navigate. An example of this type of intersection that has always fascinated me is the social, economic, and ethical implications to consider by the people on the cutting edge of technological advancements. At Duke, I hope to combine my love for Math and Physics with the study of Economics, Political Science, and Ethics, to broaden my horizons and help me to make an impact in all my future endeavours.

Outside of academics, I have always sought to take up leadership roles wherever I could find them. This has led me to a number of key roles in my school community, such as Senior Prefect and Chair of School Council, where I have acted as the voice of the student body and an intermediary between staff and my peers. Secondly, driven by my passion for education and the opportunities it can bring, I started STEAM Ahead, a small community based initiative which aims to encourage educational ambition in primary school children from deprived neighbourhoods like my own, to try to inspire them to enjoy learning. Adding to the theme of education, as a member of the Sutton Trust US Programme, I am currently a Team Leader for younger students with aspirations of studying in the US, and through this I have been drawing from my own experiences on the programme to inspire them to pursue greater educational opportunities across the pond. I also love sports, from soccer and basketball to rock climbing and skiing, and I can’t wait to cheer on the Blue Devils as a Cameron Crazie!

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

Growing up in the UK, I, like many of my friends, had been cultured to believe that university was all about the qualification that came at the end of it, and so when I tell everyone about the Robertson Program, with its global summer opportunities, scholar retreats, and leadership development activities, it all seems to good to be true. College in the US is the perfect place to grow as a person, and I knew straight away that the Robertson Program would be the perfect addition to the experience that would help me to grow into the best version of myself possible.

On top of all these incredible benefits, the main reason that I was drawn to the Robertson Program was the 35 other scholars themselves. The fact that each scholar has a different background, coming from all over the world, means that each one of us brings a different perspective to the program, creating a spectrum of ideas that together we can all learn from. And yet, despite our differences, we all share a likemindedness, a passion to lead and a desire to make transformational contributions to the local, national, and international communities to which we belong. I honestly couldn’t think of a better group to be spending the next 4 years with.

Keegan Ben 2021