Congratulations to Our 2022 Student Award & Scholarship Winners!
Now that the 2021-22 academic year has drawn 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 our International and Area Studies majors and minors, our international students, and OU students who received scholarships for study abroad and language study. Below are this year's winners, and we hope you'll take a moment to read through and celebrate their achievements along with us. We're wishing all of our students a wonderful summer break, and for those that have graduating, good luck and best wishes for the future!
AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS FOR IAS MAJORS
Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. Award: Ismael Carmona Casado 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.
William W. Talley, II Student Award: Su Myat Noe The William W. Talley, II Student Award recognizes an undergraduate alum of the Department of International and Area Studies who is currently enrolled in (or has been admitted and plans to attend) the Master in International Studies program at OU.
CIS Outstanding Senior 2021: Te'a Williams
Our Outstanding Senior (announced in fall 2021) was December graduate Te'a Williams. The International and Area Studies Outstanding Senior Award is given for outstanding achievement in scholarship, honors, awards, leadership and service to the university and community.
CIS Internship Support Grant: Su Myat Noe, Dawit Leake Wolde The College of International Studies provides funds to encourage and support IAS undergraduate and graduate internship opportunities. Students receive a grant for travel and housing support related to international internship activities.
CIS Student Travel Support Grant: Kristina Aleksanyan, Caroline Kiser, Ayahzan Muratbeck, Brandon Perry The College of International Studies provides a travel grant to support IAS graduate and undergraduate student travel for research and educational activities.
Enes Kanter Scholarship: Nondumiso Mndzebele This scholarship is to honor Enes Kanter, a professional basketball player originally from Turkey and former player for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the National Basketball Association. The scholarship provides recognition and financial assistance annually to undergraduate students of high academic standing and demonstrated financial need within the college.
Mehdi Firoozabadi Iranian Studies Scholarship: Isaak Todd Mehdi Firoozabadi, who graduated from the OU in 1969 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, was an international student from Iran who served as President of the International Advisory Committee. His love for OU was inspired by the warmth and support that he received from the University, its students and the surrounding community during his four years in Norman. In 1970, after graduation, Mehdi returned home to Iran to honor his scholarship from the National Iranian Oil Company and go to work for them in the field. Although it was tough, dirty work, Mehdi kept a positive attitude and was promoted to superintendent of Lavant, an offshore petrolatum company in the Persian Gulf. He was happily married for six months when tragedy struck, his car crashed into a river canyon and he lost his life on June 7, 1975. Mehdi’s brother Amir, a proud U.S. citizen who considered his brother a “model citizen,” wishes to honor Mehdi’s legacy and show his appreciation for the University of Oklahoma by helping future generations of Iranian Americans and other students who seek to promote enduring friendship between the Iranian and American people.
Ann and Mark Nuttle Award for Middle East Studies: Katelyn Cooke This scholarship was established by Ann and Marc Nuttle to provide an award to an OU student who performs outstanding research on the subject of religious tolerance in the Middle East, with a specific focus on the experience of minority religions.
St. Elijah's and Anthony Shadid Arabic Language Study Scholarship: Gabriela Arambula This scholarship was created out of the initiative and generosity of OU alum Anthony Shadid and the St. Elijah’s Church. The scholarship is unique in that it emphasizes the value of language and cultural experiences in the Middle East. Awards are given on a competitive basis to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in International and Area Studies and participating in OU study abroad programs. Awards are based on factors such as grades, promise in the field, language acquisition, faculty recommendations and the student’s financial need
AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Paul and Rose Sharp Scholarship: Himadri Sen Gupta This scholarship was established by former OU president and his wife, Dr. Paul Sharp and Mrs. Rose Sharp, to recognize one outstanding international student based on academic excellence, outstanding contributions and service to the University of Oklahoma community.
Sue Williams Service Award: Tanzil Fatima The Sue Williams Service Award is given to an international student who demonstrates service to the community and dedication to intercultural understanding.
Cleo Cross Scholarship: Felipe Adriao Cruz, Maria Antonia Alvarado Puchulu, Umer Bilal, Daria Davydova, Iulia Dolmatova, Ghulam Ali Doulat, Gizelda Florindo, Reza Gheibi, Wahidullah Haidari, Thi Thuy Tien Le, Peter Makuei, Muhammad Ramiz Uddin, Varshitha Vasireddy, Mahmoud Zaqout The Cleo Cross International Student Scholarship was established in 1968 by the University Women’s Club in honor of Mrs. Cleo Cross, wife of OU’s 17th President, George Lynn Cross. Mrs. Cross was very active in OU’s international community and hosted the Cleo Cross Tea in the Boyd House for many years prior to her death in 1997.
BEST PAPER PRIZES
Iranian Studies Best Paper Prize: Andrew Wall
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. Andrew won this year's prize for his paper, “Feminine Beauty in Iranian Cinema: How Filmmakers in a Censored Industry Represent the Problems Women Face in Iran through Art."
Latin America and Caribbean Paper Award: 1st Prize: Lilly Amechi, 2nd Prize: Gant Roberson
The Latin America and Caribbean Paper Award is offered annually by the OU Center for the Americas. Undergraduate students of any major may submit a paper written for an undergraduate course in 2021 directly related to Latin America and the Caribbean. Lilly Amechi was awarded first prize for her paper, "A Case of Mistaken Identity: State and Cultural Constructions of Mapuche Womanhood Through Activism," written for the course ANTH 4843: Cross Cultural Study of Sex, Sexuality, and Gender. Gant Roberson was awarded second prize for his paper, "Revolutionary Solidarity and Ideological Reference in the Global South: the FMLN and Revolution in El Salvador 1970-1992" written for the course HIST 3573, Latin American Refugees 1970-Present, with Sarah Hines.
Thomas W. Adams Best Paper Award: TBA
The Thomas W. Adams Best Paper Award, sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies and the European Union Center, is given each year to the best paper addressing an aspect of conflict resolution affecting any country that borders the Mediterranean Sea.
CIS CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Fellowship for Global Engagement: Jamie Boyd, Noah Bridges, Catherine Frerker, Tessa Fungo, David Hudson Harder, Cricket Kaya, Vaishnavi Kumar, Haley Lewsey, Liliana Ruiz Macias, Nathan Preuss, Gant Roberson, Stefania Savino, Grayson Wise The OU Fellowship for Global Engagement is a program established by the University of Oklahoma to ensure its students have the tools to succeed in an increasingly global world. Global Engagement Fellows must commit to the program for the entirety of their undergraduate career. Fellows will receive a scholarship account which can be used during their undergraduate years for at least two international experiences, with their first experience ideally taking place during the summer after their freshman year.
Peace Corps Prep: Vaishnavi Kumar The Peace Corps Prep Program (PC Prep) at the University of Oklahoma prepares students for service as a Peace Corps volunteer. Qualified undergraduate students can apply to take part in the program, which equips students in four areas: intercultural competence, sector-specific skills, language development, and professionalism and leadership. After completing the program, students receive a certificate from Peace Corps.
AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS FOR LANGUAGE STUDY & STUDY ABROAD
Ambassador Edward J. Perkins Scholarship: Maria Peruch-Schneider, Reagan Brannon This scholarship was created to assist University of Oklahoma students pursuing studies in Africa and other strategic areas. The scholarship may also assist OU students from overseas.
Board of Visitors Scholarship: Emani Lewis, Mwameen Nanfuka, Khalil Tafni, Imani Toliver, Dawit Leake Wolde The Board of Visitors Scholarship supports student travel to underrepresented overseas destinations.
Cole Frates Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship: Gabriela Arambula The Cole Frates Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship was created with the goal of assisting OU students to study abroad. In establishing an education abroad scholarship, Cole wishes to honor his mother, Mary Frates, and his best friend and partner, Famke Janssen, by naming scholarships in their honor and promoting study in destinations important to each of them.
Dean Suzette Grillot Scholarship: Christian Newkirk, Alexis Martinez This scholarship was created out of the generosity of two OU alums and friends of the College of International Studies to provide study abroad scholarships for students at the University of Oklahoma who participate in the university’s signature study abroad program in Arezzo, Italy.
Farzaneh Family Persian Language Scholarship: Fatemeh Arabpour, Ila Darling, Aanahita Ervin, Daniel Glass, Mahsa Gohar, Sana Yari Hajatalou, Mobina Mohammadnejad, Shahrad Shahriari, Aryana Stanton, Isaak Todd The Farzaneh family have been long-time supporters of the University of Oklahoma and the College of International Studies. The Farzaneh Family’s gift to support Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies at OU includes scholarships to OU students studying the Persian language.
Fulbright U.S. Student Program: Taylor B. Cozzens (Research, Peru), Liliana Ruiz Macias (English Teaching Assistant, Italy), Elizabeth Smith (English Teaching Assistant, Germany), Katherine Stroh (Research, Ecuador) The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for outstanding college graduates to teach, research or study abroad in a country of their choice. During their grant year, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, promoting mutual understanding and positive relationships between the United States and the rest of the world.
Mary and Don Sherman International Networking Scholarship: Ayahzan Muratbeck International adventurers Mary and Don Sherman have a keen understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the world. Through their involvement in Rotary International, international library community, and Sister Cities programs, they gained an appreciation for a range of different cultures and made friends all over the world. Both OU graduates, Mary and Don are leaders and generous donors to many areas of the university. Through Mary’s service on the CIS Board of Visitors, she and Don decided to endow an international networking scholarship to open global opportunities to generations of OU graduates. This scholarship provides support as needed to students who take part in an international networking opportunity either through a sponsored trip or individual networking experience.
Molly and David Boren Study Abroad Scholarship: James Akinlosotu, Noel Cheesman, Cecil Ehirindu, Jamie Meyer, Carmen Oswalt, Tasia Terrell, Isaak Todd, Emily Tucker, Robert Ward, Annie White Molly and President David Boren believe deeply that the next generation of American leadership must function internationally as never before; and they believe in the interdisciplinary mission of the College of International Studies. Their generosity provides scholarship funds for students who endeavor to expand their international experiences by participating in the study abroad programs at the University of Oklahoma.
Paula Throckmorton Zakaria and Fareed Zakaria Scholarship: Kristina Aleksanyan, Angelora Castellano As a result of their life’s work in bringing people together from around the world, Paula Throckmorton Zakaria and Fareed Zakaria generously provided study abroad scholarships for University of Oklahoma students in the College of International Studies. They believe in President David L. Boren’s international vision and the University of Oklahoma’s commitment to expand opportunities for OU students to study abroad.
Philip Farish Scholarship: Youla Ali, David Colindres, Mobina Mohammadnejad, Kashaf Mujeeb, Surarya Yamada Sapien This scholarship was created to assist OU students pursuing a study abroad program, with priority given to applicants who study abroad for a semester or academic year and are in STEM fields.
Seymour Feiler Scholarship: Peyton Mabry, Gabriela Pinto Ordonez This scholarship was created out of the generosity of Eliot Feiler to honor his uncle, Seymour Feiler, who was a devoted professor of French in the Department of Modern Languages for many years. He was also very involved in Education Abroad, and he helped many international students while on campus. This scholarship will assist undergraduate students at the University of Oklahoma who wish to study in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Shirley Routt Bomford Endowed Scholarship: Reagan Brannon, Eva Chen, Carson McHugh, Patrick Painter Shirley Routt Bomford, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and a retired civic leader, is the proud mother and grandmother of a daughter and granddaughter who are both OU graduates. Shirley and her husband, Tom, also a graduate of OU, desire to assist students planning to expand their education by studying abroad.
South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center International Studies Scholarship: Michael Beck, Nondumiso Mndzebele, Patrick Painter The South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center International Studies Scholarship was created to assist OU students pursuing a summer study abroad program. Scholarships are awarded to qualified undergraduate students. Recipients of the award will be expected to complete a small project as selected by the scholarship committee following the completion of the study abroad program.