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Congrats to our 2020 Student Award Winners!

As the 2019-20 academic year draws to a close, we'd like to recognize our many talented students who have won scholarships and awards — some within the college and some campus-wide. We're incredibly proud of all of our International and Area Studies majors and minors as well as our international students for both their achievements and their perseverance during this particularly difficult year. Below are this year's winners, and we hope you'll take a moment to read through and celebrate them along with us. We're wishing all of our students a restful, healthy and and enjoyable summer. We can't wait to see your faces again!


Cleo Cross Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding international students at the University of Oklahoma.

Cleo Cross Award Winners

This year's recipients:

(pictured, clockwise from top left)

Rumbidzai Mureru, Vy Luong, Lin Guo, Leili Soltanisehat, Wambui Gachunga, Zareen Khan

(not pictured)

Julius Bitarabeo, Michael Lowry, Ricardo Palma Fraga, Fily Wahidin, Fehintola Folarin, Muhammad Husnain, Kwestan Salimi.

Peace Mojekwu

Sue Williams Service Award: Peace Mojekwu (left)

The Sue Williams Service Award is given annually to an international student with an outstanding record of community service.

Paul and Rose Sharp Award: Javier Chaves Camargo

The Sharp Award is given annually to an outstanding international student demonstrating high academic achievement and commitment to international activities at the University of Oklahoma.


Fern Holland Award & William W. Talley, II Student Award: Nayyifa Nihad

Nayyifa Nihad

The Fern L. Holland Award is sponsored by Student Affairs and Delta Gamma Fraternity and recognizes a full-time collegiate woman bearing the spirit of Fern Holland: a desire to make a difference in the world in the areas of democracy, human rights, women's issues or leadership.

The William W. Talley, II Student Award recognizes an outstanding IAS undergraduate either admitted to or enrolled in the Master of International Studies (MAIS) program. This year, Nayyifa Nihad won both awards.

Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. Award: Emma Albrecht

Emma Albrecht

The Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. Award recognizes an International & Area Studies student demonstrating high academic achievement, a commitment to public service and a desire to pursue a career in global affairs. In addition to receiving this award, Emma was also named CIS Convocation speaker for spring 2020.

Iranian Studies Best Paper Prize: Alyssa Wiley

The Iranian Studies Best Paper Prize is awarded each year to an undergrad or graduate student who submits the best paper related to Iranian Studies. Alyssa Wiley won the prize this year for her paper entitled "The Tudeh Party in Iran from 1941-1953: A Tool of the Soviet Union or a Natural Evolution of Iranian Politics" Two students also received honorable mention: Youssef Kamel, "Sex and the Theocracy," and Trysta Kershner, "Tradition and Transition: The Bakhtiyari Response to British Intervention, 1888-1928."


Boren Award for International Study: Emma Albrecht and Miguel Vazquez

The prestigious Boren Award for International Study is sponsored by the National Security Education Program and was established by former Oklahoma governor, US Senator and OU president David Boren. The program focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. The awards provide up to $20,000 in funding to undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad and develop language proficiency. Emma Albrecht will be studying abroad in Indonesia, with language acquisition courses through the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative. Miguel Vazquez will be studying abroad in Morocco, where he will study Arabic language and culture through the Arab American Language Institute.

Critical Language Scholarship: John Broach (minor), Rachel Williams

The CLS program was founded as part of a government effort to promote the study of foreign languages designated “critical” — those that are underrepresented but play an important role in national security and the world economy. In typical years, students selected for the summer program enjoy two fully funded months of language and cultural immersion in a city where their chosen language is spoken. This year's program has unfortunately been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sophomore John Broach was accepted to study Chinese in Taiwan, and fourth-year International Studies BA/MA student Rachel Williams was accepted to study Arabic in Oman.

Fulbright Scholarship: Ben Levenson, Britt Leake, Lily Lohery

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,900 U.S. students, artists and early career professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research annually in over 140 countries throughout the world. IAS Senior Ben Levenson will be teaching in Germany, and graduating MAIS students Britt Leake and Lily Lohery will be doing research in India and teaching in Moldova, respectively.

Letziser Honor List and Medalists:

Eduardo Campbell, Hennessey Chism, Julia Harth, Victoria White

OU Campus Life Award:

Eduardo Campbell, Hennessey Chism, Sarah Hobson, Delaney Mack (minor)

PE-ET Top 10 Senior Honor Society:

Victoria White, Te'a Williams, Brian Phillips (minor)

President's Award for Outstanding Sophomores:

Ismael Carmona Casado

Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts award:

Julia Harth

Regent's Award for Outstanding Juniors:

Te'a Williams

Graduating IAS Students with 4.0 GPA:

Noah Coen, Eduardo Campbell Bethancourt, Kylen Huffman, Riley Segars, Emma Albrecht, Britt Leake, Julia Harth, Laura Trowbridge

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