Link to AHF recipients archive

2014 Fellowship Recipients

2014 Boren Scholarship Recipients

Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program, which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security and the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness. Scholars are selected on the basis of merit and commitment to Boren ideals.

Kayla Foster is a sophomore with a double major in East Asian Languages & Cultures and International Relations. She will be studying for one year at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan while on the Boren Scholarship. She plans to join the Model United Nations club on campus where she’ll have the opportunity to discuss international affairs with her peers. While abroad, Kayla will focus on improving her Japanese while working towards her senior capstone project on Japanese military policy. After graduation from USC, Kayla plans to attend graduate school and study US-Japan security affairs.

Benjamin Miles is pursuing a double major in East Asian Languages & Cultures and International Relations. He is a native of Los Angles and a transfer student from Santa Monica College who previously studied a year in Japan under the prestigious Tanaka Foundation Scholarship and went on to spend four months in South Korea participating in a cultural internship. Benjamin plans to use the Boren Scholarship to broaden his understanding of East Asia. His goal is to work in the Department of State as an Information Resource Officer. Next year, he will live with a host family and study at Peking University in China.

Linda Wang is a junior with a double major in Philosophy, Politics & Law and Sociology, and a minor in French. Linda will be taking part in Boren’s new African Languages Initiative Program in Senegal. She will begin with a dense language study program this summer at the University of Florida and then depart for Dakar where she’ll study at the West African Research Center during the Fall semester. While in Senegal, Linda will improve her already advanced level of French and begin taking classes in Wolof. Linda’s long term plan is to pursue a PhD to study Senegalese formal organizations and the West Africa region.

2014 Critical Language Scholarship Recipients

A program of United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes overseas in thirteen critical need foreign languages.

Jesus Gonzalez Major: Political Economy, Minor: Middle East Studies; Language: Arabic, Country: Morocco

Nikita Zolotykh Major: Business Administration, Minor: East Asian Languages & Cultures; Language: Chinese, Country: China

Thomas Armstrong Majors: History, International Relations; Language: Chinese, Country: China

Leowil Villanueva Majors: East Asian Languages & Cultures, International Relations (Global Business), Spanish; Language: Korean, Country: South Korea

2014 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant Recipients

As the flagship international fellowship program of the United States, the Fulbright Student Grant supports one year of independent study, research, and teaching in one of over 140 countries around the world. Recently, nearly 9,000 students from around the United States competed for about 1800 Fulbright grants.

Fan Fan is graduating with a degree in Comparative Literature and minor in History. She will spend her Fulbright year in Brazil as an English Teaching Assistant where she will lead language learning classes and promote U.S. culture through social programs at a teacher’s college. Fan has previous experience tutoring in English and Chinese, and helping international students navigate U.S. culture.

Samantha Freitag graduated in 2013 with a double major in Business Administration and International Relations. Samantha will spend her Fulbright year as an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan. As an East Asia specialist, Samantha seeks to achieve an understanding of all aspects of US-Taiwan relations through classroom immersion and interaction.

John Hernandez will pursue an English Teaching Assistantship in Spain teaching social studies, science, the arts and more in English. He will also assist with preparing secondary school students for the Model UN Global Classrooms project. In Madrid, John plans to engage with organizations that address educational, economic and societal issues. He is graduating with a major in Economics/Mathematics.

Samir Kumar is graduating with majors in Economics/Mathematics, International Relations and a minor in Mathematics, Samir will spend an academic year as an English Teaching Assistant in Sri Lanka where he will teach conversational English and composition to middle school, high school, and college students. The teaching assignment will complement Samir’s academic study of national identity and conflict in postcolonial South Asia.

Brendan McMahon For his Art History dissertation project, Brendan will examine the intersections of art and science in early colonial Mexico. Working closely with collections and scholars in Mexico City and Zacatecas, he will use 16th century objects incorporating natural materials as well as Nahuatl language pictorial documents to trace how diverse communities in the colonial period organized, classified, and represented the natural world.

Bijou (Diem-Tran) Nguyen is graduating with a major in History and a minor in Natural Science and will spend her Fulbright year as an English Teaching Assistant in South Korea. Having previously taught abroad in Uganda and the Azores Islands, Bijou plans to apply her acquired ideas and techniques to her assignment in Korea. She will also live in a home stay. Following her Fulbright, Bijou plans on attending the USC Keck School of Medicine.

Miriam Otero will be an English Teaching Assistant in Spain and will focus on developing students’ new media literacy skills in English through the use of blogs, social networking, and other forms of media. She will also teach about American history and culture. Miriam graduated from USC in 2013 with a Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Rebecca Ryan‘s experience teaching in a New Orleans turn-around charter school exposed her to various educational barriers for youth. As an English Teaching Assistant in Thailand, she seeks to extend her perspective on education beyond the United States and learn about the culture and educational approach in Thailand. Rebecca graduated from USC in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience.

Sarah Tomlinson developed a strong interest in Mongolian culture during a teaching experience while pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). As an English Teaching Assistant in Mongolia, Sarah will be placed at an institution of higher education where in addition to teaching English, she will organize language-related cross-cultural student activities and engage in embassy-organized public outreach activities.

Matthew Wong is a Master of Arts in Teaching alumnus and has a passion for teaching and public service. He will serve his Fulbright year as an English Teaching Assistant working with elementary and junior high students in Taiwan. He seeks to deepen his understanding of Taiwanese culture and facilitate civic engagement through discussions of sustainability practices and participation in green activities such as biking and hiking.

Vivian Yan is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and will spend an academic year in Hong Kong examining the extent to which ethnic and social diversity shapes the ideologies created by political activism, and to explore how these tensions create or destabilize ideas of Hong Kong identity. Vivian is graduating with a double major in Comparative Literature and History.

2014 Gates Cambridge Scholars

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program was established in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal of creating a global network of dedicated and effective leaders who will work for the greater good. Each year, 90 outstanding individuals—40 from the United States and 50 from other countries outside the United Kingdom—are selected for full scholarships for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge on the basis of their intellectual achievement, leadership potential, and commitment to using their knowledge and skills in improving the lives of others.

Reid Lidow is graduating with a double major in International Relations and Political Science. At USC, he developed an interest in Burma’s political emergence and conducted independent research there on three occasions. As a Development Studies student at Cambridge, it is Reid’s goal to help transform the talk of Burma’s shift to a democratic federalist system from rhetoric to reality while also researching ways in which Burma can lift itself out of poverty. Additionally, Reid hopes to elevate Burma research by establishing a journal featuring in-depth coverage of the country, which has historically been underserved in academic literature. Reid’s natural leadership ability and empathy are evident in his co-curricular activities. He facilitates educational sessions in local high schools as a participant in USC’s Teaching International Relations Program (TIRP). He is also the content manager for an undergraduate journal on international relations. Reid is a certified airplane pilot, and as part of his philanthropic Young Eagles Association, he enjoys taking underprivileged children on discovery flights.

2014 Gilman Scholarship Recipients

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad for U.S. who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university. The program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Spring 2014

  • Oscar De Los Santos Major: Political Science, Country: Spain
  • Rachel Jones Major: Political Science, Minor: Interdisciplinary Archaeology, Country: New Zealand
  • Li Luo Major International Relations, Country: Czech Republic
  • Dorcas Nasubo Major: International Relations, Country: Brazil
  • Erin Nogle Major: Art, Minor: Cinematic Arts, Country: Italy
  • Cassie Tseng Major: Occupational Therapy, Country: Czech Republic
  • Xinmin Chen Major: Psychology, Minor: Forensics and Criminality, Country: United Kingdom

Summer 2014

  • Yervand Azatian Major: Computation Neuroscience, International Relations, Minor: Psychology & Law, Computer Science, Country: Turkey
  • Stephanie Liang Major: Business Administration, Country: Japan
  • Jane Hong Major: Mechanical Engineering, Country: South Korea
  • Uriel Kim Major: Biological Sciences (BS), Philosophy, Politics & Law Minor: Health, Policy & Management, Country: Spain

Fall 2014

  • Tae Pak Majors: Accounting, Business Administration, Minor: Popular Music Studies, Country: South Korea
  • Josue Varela Major: Policy, Planning and Development, Country: United Kingdom

2014 Goldwater Scholarship Recipients & Honorable Mentions

The Goldwater Scholarship supports highly qualified undergraduate students interested in a career in mathematics, natural science or engineering who have the potential to make a significant contribution to their chosen field of study, and intend to pursue research careers in these fields.


Luke Bouma – Majors: Physics, Mathematics; Career Goals: PhD in Applied Physics. Conduct research in physical electronics and optoelectronics for applications in energy conversion and storage.

Honorable Mentions

Dalton Van Banh – Major: Biochemistry; Career Goals: M.D./PhD in Virology. Conduct biomedical research focused on treatment of infectious diseases and teach at a research university or medical school.

Saro Meguerdijian –Major: Chemical Engineering; Career Goals: PhD in Chemical Engineering. Conduct research in process safety for the hydrocarbon industries.

2014 Humanity in Action Fellowship Recipients

Humanity in Action Fellows are selected on a competitive basis for their high academic standing, active participation in human rights issues and outstanding recommendations. The Humanity in Action Fellowship brings together international groups of college students and recent university graduates to explore different national histories of discrimination and resistance to injustice, as well as examples of contemporary issues affecting minority groups.

POSSE Scholar Mushfiqur Chowdhury is junior studying International Relations and Middle East Studies. As one of 40 Fellows, he will attend a workshop at the Council on Foreign Relations and the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and conclude his fellowship at a Humanity in Action International Conference in the border region between Germany and Denmark to study the treatment and status of minorities in border regions in Europe and around the world.

2014 Rotary Global Grant Scholars

The Rotary Global Grant Scholarship supports international humanitarian activities and graduate study with sustainable high-impact outcomes in one or more of the six areas of focus. This includes:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development

Morgan Curtis graduated from USC in 2014 with an undergraduate degree in Film Production. He will study Peace, Conflict and Development at Universidad Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón de la Plana, Spain where he will combine photography, filmmaking and writing skills with his working knowledge of the international aid community. Morgan’s humanitarian project will support Sub-Saharan African refugees and immigrants living in the communities of Castellón and Valencia.

Dr. Brendan Vahey, DDS graduated in 2014 from the Doctor of Dental Surgery program at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. While on the Rotary Global Grant, Brendan will be hosted by the Florianopolis-Trinidade Rotary Club and attend the Federal University of Santa Catarina-Brazil’s prestigious Dental Implant Program. Brendan’s community service consists of The Smile Project – an afterschool program focusing on literacy and dental hygiene.

2014 Truman Scholars

The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive program for individuals pursuing careers in public service. The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

Oscar De Los Santos is a junior studying Political Science. A Mexican-American first-generation college student, he is particularly interested in the inclusion of marginalized people in the political process and has worked with under-represented communities in Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, and Broward County, FL as an organizer for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. He has also interned in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and plans on continuing to advocate for social justice. Read more about Oscar.