Scholar Names N-P

Ahmad Nasir
US University: United States Military Academy

Ahmad NasirAhmad Nasir will graduate from West Point with a degree in Comparative Politics and Arabic. A Truman Scholar, Ahmad is the founder of the Alaskan chapter of Team Red, White & Blue - a national veterans reintegration organization. At the Academy, Ahmad served as a Regimental Executive Officer and President of the West Point Relay for Life. Additionally, Ahmad worked as a military fellow at the Pentagon, studied in Morocco and Oman, and was a member of the Army football team. Upon graduation, Ahmad will commission as an officer in the U.S. Army and will study Modern South Asian Studies at Oxford.




Mike Norton
US University: University of Arkansas - Fayetteville

Mike NortonMike Norton graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas with a BSA in Agricultural Economics and BS in Poultry Science. He is a former White House intern where he worked under the Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs, has published research for an Accra, Ghana-based NGO that provides cocoa farmer training throughout West Africa, and studied abroad at the London School of Economics. A fifth generation Arkansan, Mike's family has been involved in the poultry and beef cattle business for over fifty years. He is also a 2012 Truman Scholar. Mike will pursue an MPhil in Politics at the University of Oxford.




Samantha Olyha
US University: Cornell University

Samantha OlyhaA Poughkeepsie, NY native, Sam Olyha will graduate from Cornell University in May 2014 with a degree in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Neurobiology. She has conducted research at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute on embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac muscle cells and at Cornell on the effect of stem cell differentiation defects on muscular dystrophy. Outside the lab, she is a pentathlete/heptathlete on the track and field team, a biology student advisor, a leader for the comparative physiology study group on campus, and is involved with turtle conservation. At Oxford, Sam will pursue an MSc by research in Oncology.




Derek Park
US University: Yale University

Derek ParkDerek Sungho Park, from Weston, Massachusetts, graduated Magna cum Laude in May 2013 from Yale University with an intensive B.S. and honors in Biology. As a student, Derek was a Beckman Scholar and an active, publishing researcher in evolutionary biology looking at gene expression and oncoloytic virotherapy. For side interests, he was the nationally-ranked captain of Yale's Pistol Team. After graduation, Derek decided to pursue his interest in research at the interface between clinical and basic science at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Based in the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology, he has been involved in modeling breast cancer dynamics and works closely with both clinical and experimental colleagues. With the Marshall Scholarship he hopes to continue studying the dynamic evolutionary processes involved in cancer growth at the University of Oxford and ultimately bring novel therapies to patients.


Craig Pearson
US University: Michigan State University

Craig PearsonCraig Pearson attended Michigan State University as an Alumni Distinguished Scholar, majoring in neuroscience, biochemistry, and English. He is a Goldwater Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa member. Pearson's research focuses on targeted drug delivery to treat genetic blindness, and he also serves as undergraduate lab manager for the MSU Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab. Pearson is the student managing editor for the ReCUR, research journal and recently founded Exceptions: The Art and Literary Journal for Students with Visual Disabilities. He will enter the doctoral programme in Clinical Neuroscience at Cambridge and pursue his passion to discover cures for blindness.




Rebecca Peters
US University: University of California - Berkeley

Rebecca PetersRebecca will graduate from UC Berkeley with degrees in Society and Environment, International Development Economics, and Global Poverty. She started a Water and International Human Rights class and served as President of the Berkeley Water Group. Her international social justice research and activism has included working in Bolivia as a Berkeley Law Human Rights Fellow and Institute for International Studies Scholar. She will pursue MScs in Poverty and Development at Manchester and Water Policy at Oxford. As a Truman and Udall Scholar, she will work to eradicate preventable water borne illness and improve human security as a public servant and academic.




Joana Petrescu
US University: Villanova University

Joana PetrescuJoana Petrescu, a Presidential Scholar at Villanova University, will graduate with a BSH in Biochemistry and French and Francophone Studies in the Spring of 2014. Awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for her work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Joana conducts research which seeks to understand the interactions between viruses and the cellular DNA damage response. In addition, Joana has coordinated opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion of the ethical, economic, and legal implications of proposals for healthcare reform. Joana will pursue research in cancer biology at The University of Cambridge in preparation for a career as a physician scientist.


Nicholas Picon
US University: Georgia Institute of Technology

Nicholas PiconNicholas Picon, of Boca Raton, FL, will graduate from Georgia Tech with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. At Georgia Tech, he co-authored papers on satellite design and constellations while doing research on space solar power transmission. Nicholas was a member of the Lacrosse Team, Project Leader for an Engineers Without Borders project in Honduras, and Student Body President his senior year. Nicholas has also worked in the aerospace industry at Rolls-Royce and with Boeing as a part of the Missile Defense National Team. Nicholas will be studying Autonomous Vehicles at Cranfield University and International Conflict at King's College London.