A native of Brooklyn, New York, Tahir Ahmed will receive a bachelor's degree in Neural Science with honors from New York University. A NYU Presidential Scholar and Samuel B. Morse Scholar, Tahir has conducted research internationally on topics that have ranged from heart attack and stroke to astronomy and biomarine conservation in locales as varied as Hawaii, Ecuador and Madrid. At NYU, Tahir is President of the Senior Class, and is completing his honors thesis on the role of synaptogenic molecules in sensory development and neurological diseases. The author of two research papers published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Tahir is also an avid filmmaker, pursuing a degree in digital-filmmaking concurrently with his neuroscience studies. At the University of Cambridge, Tahir will pursue a PhD in Neurology.
Jessica Ashooh was born in New Hampshire, grew up in Manlius, New York, and now lives in Dublin, Ohio. A senior at Brown University, she majors in international relations with a focus on global security and Middle Eastern politics. Drawing on her experience as an election observer in Lebanon, she is writing her senior thesis on Lebanese democracy. Jessica has held internships with both the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Cato Institute. An accomplished musician, she is a cellist in the Brown Orchestra. In addition to her knowledge of Latin, Jessica speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.
Rajaie Batniji, of Diamond Bar, California, is a third-year medical student at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine pursuing interests in urban-underserved medicine and global health. Rajaie graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with distinction from Stanford University in 2003, where he earned BA and MA degrees in History (Middle East) and served as a Junior and Senior Class President. He interned at the World Health Organization, authoring a paper on mental and social health in disaster. Born in Gaza, Rajaie hopes to study international relations at Oxford, with interests in humanitarian intervention and the Middle East.
Adam Berry, a native of Salisbury, Maryland, graduated from Parkside High School in 2002 and will graduate from Emory with majors in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. When he isn't researching for his thesis on language and politics in Iran, he divides his time between serving as vice-president of the College Democrats, a Resident Advisor, and running the university's chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting global understanding. He will pursue an M.A. in Applied Corpus Linguistics at Birmingham, and an M.St. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford, with a focus on Iran.
Allison Bishop will graduate from Princeton University with a concentration in mathematics and a certificate in women and gender studies. A Goldwater Scholar and runner-up for the Alice T. Schafer Prize, she has done mathematics research at the Nebraska REU Program and the Director's Summer Program at the National Security Agency. Her primary non-mathematical interest is creative writing, and she is currently working on an introductory mathematics book for undergraduates. She also sings in the Chapel Choir and plays clarinet in the Wind Ensemble. At Cambridge, she will complete Part III of the Mathematics Tripos and then conduct mathematical research.
Maher Bitar, who grew up in Montreal, Canada, will graduate from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a major in International Politics and a certificate in Arab Studies. A John Carroll Fellow, he founded the Holy Land Christian College Communities to support the Christians of the Holy Land. Passionate about youth development, he has served as a counselor at Seeds of Peace, an international conflict-resolution camp. At Georgetown, he tutors inner-city youths in German, French and world affairs. In his spare time, he is an ardent basketball player, enjoys recording international hip-hop, and performs with a Dabkeh troupe, a traditional Palestinian dance ensemble. As a Marshall Scholar, Maher plans to study forced migration at the University of Oxford.
Heidi Boutros graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas in 2004 with degrees in Government and Liberal Arts. A Truman Scholar and Goldman Sachs Global Leader, she has worked on prison reform in Russia, helped release bonded slaves in India, co-authored a report on South Africa for the United Nations World Conference against Racism, and assisted Chief Judge Sir Richard May in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. For her senior thesis, she conducted field research in South Africa on the motives behind the murders of over 1,000 farmers since 1994. As an undergraduate, Boutros also published articles on human rights and drafted the University of Texas's first honor code. Since graduation, she has investigated felonies on behalf of indigents accused of crimes in District of Columbia and worked as an intelligence analyst in Washington, D.C. Boutros will be studying International Relations at Oxford.
Brenner, daughter of Richard and Nellie Sue Brenner, was born and
raised in Forest Grove, Oregon. In 2002, she graduated Valedictorian
from Forest Grove High School. She currently attends the University of
Oregon, and will soon complete degrees in History, Women and Gender
Studies, and Political Science. Outside of academia, Alletta has many
interests, ranging from volunteering in her community to playing piano,
sewing, camping, cycling and rock climbing. At Edinburgh, she plans to
study how non-governmental organizations may help facilitate the spread
of human rights, even when politics and tradition run contrary to such
Steve Brusatte, a resident of Ottawa, Illinois, will graduate from the University of Chicago in June with a degree in Geophysical Sciences. He will enroll in the University of Bristol's Palaeobiology MSc program, and ultimately plans to pursue a career in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Steve's current research focuses on the anatomy and evolutionary relationships of African carnivorous dinosaurs, and he is the author of the book Stately Fossils (2002) and several articles and papers. Although a winner of the Goldwater Scholarship, a University of Chicago Student Marshal, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Steve is above all a die-hard White Sox fan who will miss watching Chicago sports while in England.
Jud Campbell of Blacksburg, Virginia, will graduate in Political Science and Mathematics from UNC-Chapel Hill in May. He is a Carolina Scholar and a U.S. Senate Youth Scholar. Jud's research interests include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. policy towards Cuba, and early American history. He is a counsel in the UNC Honor System, a tutor in a local housing community, and a member of Presbyterian Campus Ministry. A published genealogist, Jud operated a genealogy research business while in college. He also enjoys tennis, golf, and carpentry. He will study international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Claire received her BS, biology and BA, philosophy from the University of Portland in 2005. A recipient of a Jack Kent Cooke graduate fellowship, Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, and Murdock Fellowship, Claire has conducted research in behavioral neuroscience as an undergraduate and as a first year graduate student at the University of California, San Diego. Claire has ridden her bicycle from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine on a self-sponsored and supported bicycle ride for Alzheimer's research, served as a US Senate intern for Senator Ron Wyden, and spent a year studying in Salzburg, Austria and traveling throughout Europe. In pursuit her of an MD/PhD, Claire hopes to address the problem of neurodegenerative disease by exploring the therapeutic potential of stem cells.
A native of Houston, Texas, Pete will graduate from the United States Military Academy with a BS in economics and a commission as an Army infantry officer. Continuing in his undergraduate field, Pete will pursue an MPhil in Economics at the University of Oxford. His research interests include foreign aid and trade in sub-Saharan Africa. At West Point, Pete has enjoyed being a member of the West Point Parachute Team, teaching Sunday School, and leading the Domestic Affairs Forum. His summer activities have included U.S. Army Airborne School and Operation Crossroads Africa in the Kingdom of Lesotho.