Congratulations 2019 Strauss Scholar Ahmad Elhaija

2019 Strauss Scholar Ahmad Elhaija

Ahmad Elhaija, third year Psychobiology major, won the Strauss Scholarship in 2019.

SRC: What is your Strauss Scholarship Project, and how is it going? How did you use the funds?

AE: My Strauss Scholarship project is the International Collegiate Health Initiative: Maywood and Bell Community Clinic. The project has been going well- we are making a great impact in the Southeast Los Angeles community and working to expand the types of services we can provide. I actually saved the Strauss funds to go towards purchasing a medical clinic van for our organization.

SRC: What are your plans for the organization?

AE: Going forward we will provide more types of medical services, partner with more service organizations, and open chapters at other universities.

SRC: What advice do you have for students who are considering applying for the Strauss Scholarship?

AE: I would say to create your proposal as if it would not matter whether or not you receive the scholarship. The strongest projects from my year all had development in the projects prior to applying for the scholarship. The Strauss board will be able to see who put in the work for their project and how much thought was put into organizing the different aspects of the proposal.

Congratulations 2020 Marshall Scholar Leia Yen

Congratulations Leia Yen, UCLA Marshall Scholar!

SRC: What do you plan to study in the UK using your Marshall Scholarship?

LY: Digital Humanities/Digital Culture and Society

SRC: What attracted you to that field of study?

LY: I love that digital humanities fosters creativity in technological innovation and research while also providing the space to ask critical questions about their impacts. I believe that digital humanities education can play a role in addressing the social, cultural, and economic inequalities that technology both creates and surfaces.

SRC: What were your most meaningful experiences at UCLA, at your community college, and in the community?

LY: Mentoring transfer students with the UCLA Transfer Center, coaching debate with El Camino College and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League, developing original research with great mentors (Dr. Danny Snelson, Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan, Dr. Ashley Sanders-Garcia to name a few!), and being a part of the church family at Lighthouse Community Church in Torrance.

SRC: What advice do you have for other students considering applying for the Marshall Scholarship? Any advice specifically for transfer students?

LY: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are no self-made Marshalls; we each had mentors, friends, and communities who spoke into our journeys. Sometimes that kind of support isn’t readily accessible, so it may mean being brave and reaching out on your own. For fellow transfer students, try not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others (it’s so easy to feel self-doubt as you read profile after profile on the scholarship websites!). Rather than being ashamed of the differences in your college pathway, help scholarship committees see why your unique experiences and the perspectives you’ve gained from them are what make you a great candidate.