Schaeffer Fellow News

USC Schaeffer Fellow Ida Abhari selected as Fulbright U.S. Student Program Finalist 

Ida Abhari holds one of the stray cats living on the grounds of Istanbul's Boğaziçi University. The cats are cared for by students, locals and a campus veterinarian. Photos courtesy of Ida Abhari.Ida Abhari, was selected as a Schaeffer Fellow in 2015 and 2016.  As a rising junior she interned with Congresswoman Karen Bass in Washington DC and as a rising senior she worked with the United Nations Office of High Commissioner (UNHCR) for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   Ida graduated from USC in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in both International Relations and Philosophy along with a minor in Iranian Studies.  Ida was recently named one of only four recipients selected nationally for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship placement in Azerbaijan for 2017-2018. Read more about Ida’s Schaeffer Fellowship with the UNHCR and how it impacted her.

USC Schaeffer Fellow named Truman Scholar Finalist 

Jamie Kwong, 2016 Schaeffer Fellow, was chosen as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship from a national pool of more than 600 applicants.  

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive and prestigious scholarship for college juniors who have outstanding leadership potential, plan to pursue careers in public service, and wish to attend graduate school to prepare for their careers.  The scholarship carries an award of $30,000 plus a variety of educational and leadership development opportunities.

Jamie is majoring in international relations while concurrently pursuing a master’s degree in public diplomacy.  She has served as an intern at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, conducted nuclear security research in Washington, D.C. and immigration research in France.  This summer she will be working at the State Department’s Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism. Jamie plans on earning a second master’s degree in nonproliferation and international security with the long-term goal of helping the world move towards Global Zero (international elimination of nuclear weapons). Meanwhile, she is editor of Glimpse from the Globe, an undergraduate journal on international affairs, president of the Panhellenic Council, vice president of Society 53 and manager of the Peer Leadership Team at USC’s Campus Activities Office.

As many as 65 Truman Scholarships will be awarded among the interviewed finalists.  Truman Scholars:

  • have extensive records of public and community service which include volunteer efforts, community organizing, and/or local political involvement;
  • are committed to careers in government or elsewhere in the public or not-for-profit sector as demonstrated by previous internship or work experience
  • wish to influence public policy;
  • have outstanding leadership potential as demonstrated by elected positions in student government and clubs, organizing and implementing special programs or group projects; and
  • possess intellectual strength in their written, analytical  and communication skills

Jamie applied for the Truman Scholarship because of its commitment to supporting the growth and development of future public service leaders.  She aspires to work for the federal government within the niche field of nonproliferation, but finds great value in the community the Truman Scholarship fosters amongst its recipients. She hopes to join this esteemed group of passionate, driven Scholars who are ready to commit to public service in order to incite positive, global change.

Schaeffer Fellows Profiled by USC News 

Four 2016 Schaeffer Fellows were recently profiled by USC News.  Their profiles are linked below:

Vivian Le, 2016 USC Schaeffer Fellow, selected as Boren Scholarship recipient 

Vivan is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning and Development and currently studying in Vietnam on the Boren Scholarship.  Boren Scholarships require rigorous language study and the majority of awardees spend a full academic year overseas.  In exchange for funding, Boren Scholarship recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.  Prior to her study in Vietnam, Vivian interned as a USC Schaeffer Fellow with then Congressmember Xavier Becerra.

Sonali Seth, 2016 Schaeffer Fellow, was among only 50 students selected for first-ever “White House College Reporter Day”

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetSonali Seth, now a junior, is double majoring in Political Science and Policy, Planning and Development, was selected as one of only 50 college students chosen from a national pool of applicants to attend the first-ever White House College Reporter DaySonali was the Editorial Director and an Opinion Columnist for the USC Daily Trojan which boasts an audience of  over 10,000 daily readers.  In her role, Sonali manages more than fifty staff writers and fifteen artists. She is also Director of Political Content for the Political Student Assembly, a branch of USC’s Undergraduate Student Government.

Last summer, Sonali Sonali Seth interviews Deputy Secretary Raskinserved as a USC Schaeffer Fellow, interning in Sacramento for California Assemblymemeber Reggie Jones-Sawyer whose district representation includes much of South Los Angeles, the LA Coliseum, the California Science Center, Natural History Museum, and the University of Southern California.

Watch President Obama respond to Seth’s question about college affordability.

Sonali also stopped by the Department of the Treasury to interview Deputy Secretary Sarah Raskin about student loan debt.


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