MPOWER Financing is proud to announce the scholarship winners for our Global Citizen program! For the cycle ending July 15th, 2019, our scholarship committee reviewed 788 eligible applications, from over 100 countries and over 230 universities, and across a multitude of disciplines. As always, our team was immensely impressed with the applicants’ qualifications, perseverance, and potential to be changemakers.
After much deliberation, our scholarship committee selected a winner of our $5,000 grand prize, plus four regional winners who will receive $3,000 each. These winners include scholars from Bangladesh, Nigeria, India, and China, as well as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student from Mexico. Each student has a remarkable background and inspiring plans for the future
Read on below for their profiles!
Nusrat Jahan Mim, Architectural Designer Improving Living Conditions for Rohingya Refugees
Grand Prize Winner; Bangladesh, Harvard University
Nusrat is a Doctorate of Design student at Harvard University. She was first inspired to pursue sustainable design in her home country of Bangladesh, where she describes witnessing firsthand the marginalization evident in community spaces. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the plight of evicted slum dwellers in Dhaka and their “disconnection from social capital,” stressing the importance of adaptability in design.
Our committee was extremely impressed with the impact she has already achieved. In her application essay, Nusrat wrote, “With BRAC [an international development organization and] the largest NGO in the world, I designed and prototyped an adaptable housing system for cyclone-affected people in the coastal areas of Bangladesh….I also worked with Oxfam to design culturally sensitive washing facilities for the women [among] the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.”
“Studying abroad is essentially challenging for the students from the developing parts of the world, Nusrat said. “MPOWER’s Global Citizen Scholarship is one of the very few successful programs that understands the financial stress of international students and supports them to fulfill their dream of getting higher education from the [best universities in] North America. This scholarship and the winners have inspired me to respond to my responsibilities as a global citizen. I believe, from the platform MPOWER has provided me with, I will be able to inspire a lot of Bangladeshi students to pursue their dreams.”
Suravi Ray, Researcher Studying Impact of Climate Change on Avian Malaria
Regional Winner – India; Drexel University
Suravi is passionate about her studies in ornithology and is researching the impact of climate change on avian malaria prevalence. “My current research has been to estimate which factors are the best determinants for avian malaria prevalence,” she said. “This fatal disease drives small bird populations to extinction.”
Our scholarship committee was impressed that Suravi has already presented impactful research to the American Ornithological Society. In her essay, she wrote, “My background in biology has allowed me to relate avian genetic diversity to ecology. I band birds for migration, which gives me important physiological knowledge about them….In the face of climate change, it is important to understand the corresponding changes in avian parasitology.”
“This award is a symbol of a globalized, multicultural world to me,” Suravi said. “Through my work as an ornithologist, I have met some of the most diverse and wonderful colleagues who have taught me about the world and its immense biodiversity. This award is a representation of their impact on my life. The world around me has shaped me as a scholar and I am honored to be a recipient of this award.”
Hanxue Wei, Urban Planner Creating Sustainable Neighborhoods
Regional Winner – Asia (Excluding India); China, Cornell University
Hanxue is a Ph.D. student in Regional Science and already an accomplished urban planner who has focused on the issues facing developing countries. She has travelled to India, Cuba, South Korea, Japan, and the United States to observe differences in urban planning and the built environment. In her essay, she wrote about her work in China to create “development plans for wasted industrial lands in metropolitan areas” and noted that she “made an effort to create sustainable and walkable neighborhoods.”
Hanxue hopes that her research at Cornell University will answer the many questions that have puzzled her throughout her career as an urban planner. “We need to learn how to better gather and utilize mass spatial data to ensure our urban planning has a solid scientific grounding to further help urban policy-making and promote social equity,” she said.
“I feel very grateful to be supported by the MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship,” Hanxue said. “This award means a lot. It offers me a great opportunity to efficiently conduct my future studies on urban issues.”
Alvan Ukachukwu, Neurosurgeon Improving Care in Resource-Limited Environments
Regional Winner – Africa; Nigeria, Duke University
Alvan, a Master of Global Health student at Duke University, is one of only 80 neurosurgeons in Nigeria. Our judges were extremely impressed by his research to improve care in resource-limited environments.
Alvan has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles. In his essay, he discussed his previous research. “In 2014, I studied the ‘Presurgical Urologic Function of Spina Bifida Patients.’ I co-investigated the ‘Clinical Outcome of Closed Reduction of Cervical Spine Injuries in a Cohort of Nigerians’ from 2012 to 2015, published in the Spinal Cord Series and Cases Journal in February 2019. I also co-investigated the improvisation of the simple urine bag as a post-craniotomy wound drain in a low-resource setting, published in the East and Central African Journal of Surgery in 2014.”
“I am truly humbled to be awarded the acclaimed MPOWER Global Citizens Scholarship, out of [hundreds of] applicants from all over the world. I am grateful to the MPOWER Financing team for this award, and for their enviable track record of supporting students from diverse backgrounds and nationalities,” Alvan said. “The scholarship, being applied to my school funding, will reduce the financial burden in my quest for the MSc. Global Health degree from Duke University.”
Hector Salazar Martinez, First DACA Med Student at Cornell University and Advocate for Undocumented
Regional Winner – Latin America; Mexico, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University
Hector impressed our scholarship committee with his research and publication history, as well as his passion for serving the undocumented.
In his essay, Hector wrote, “Growing up, I witnessed firsthand the importance the only bilingual physician played for so many family members and friends in my community. I also knew how stressful it was for patients who were unable to see him when they needed care, including my own mother who then had to rely on me, her nine-year-old son, to translate for her with other doctors….Seeing the relief that something as seemingly fundamental as communication brought to not only patients but [to] their families showed me how medicine can allow me to have a far greater impact than just treating the disease.”
Hector has significant research experience and has published articles on the subjects of neurobiology, stem cells, and cardiology. He also has big plans and hopes for the future. “My medical education will give me the ability to treat both the undocumented and the uninsured in New York through the free clinic,” he said. “…I hope to give back to the community, not just [with] medical care and scientific knowledge, but also [to] demonstrate that undocumented individuals can succeed in medical and scientific fields.”
“I am elated to be recognized as a recipient of the MPower Global Citizenship Scholarship,” Hector said. “This scholarship will allow me to focus more time not only on my studies but also on extracurricular experiential learning opportunities such as volunteering in free clinics and scientific research.My pursuit of medicine has always been driven by a desire to impact the health of the global community, and this award affords me the ability to do just that.”