Hometown: Milford, New Hampshire
Education: B.A. Villanova University (2013), M.A. Villanova (2014), MPhil Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford (2016)
Peak Chess Rating: 1790 (USCF)
Chess Accolades: Massachusetts Junior High co-champ, U.S. Open “C” champion
Activities: Phi Beta Kappa (honor society), Rhodes Scholar, Villanova varsity women’s basketball, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Upsilon Tau Chapter), Truman Scholar, Rangel Scholar, Gates Millennium Scholar
Current Profession: Head of Partner Operations & Integrations, Wave Mobile Remittance
Last tournament: 2006-09-04 66TH NEW ENGLAND OPEN (MA)
Photo by Villanova University
Jessica Wamala graduated from Villanova University in May 2013 with majors in Political Science, Arab and Islamic studies, and Global Interdisciplinary Studies. A year later, she earned her M.A. in Political Science & Government and earned the coveted Rhodes Scholarship to study at University of Oxford. Jessica interned at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and at the State Department office of Near Eastern Affairs. She also served in the Peace Corps in Taza Province, Morocco.
Jessica has an older brother Jacob who was also a chess standout. More on him later! Below she gives precious advice on how to navigate the collegiate experience and juggling activities.
“The one thing that you have to understand is that you’re going to have to make sacrifices. And I did make sacrifices. While I did go out, there were nights where my friends went out, but I had to study for a test and then the next day I had to be on the road for basketball; so [making] sacrifices and maintaining a priority, and then maintaining that every time you wake up. When you are practicing, you can’t do your homework. When you’re doing your homework, you can’t be having fun; and when you are having fun, you can’t be sleeping. You have to understand how to take care of your body, take care of your mind, take care of your health.” (link)
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