2017 Scholars S-W

Debbie Samaniego
US University: Westminster College UT

Debbie Samaniego is from Salt Lake City, Utah where she will earn a degree in Political Science from Westminster College in spring 2017. Her research focuses on the violence experienced by migrants and refugees from Central and South America, as well as the current European refugee crisis. A first-generation Latina student, Debbie has taken advantage of the opportunities offered to her as an Honors student and McNair Scholar. She has been involved with programs such as the Clemente Humanities course, the Westminster Diversity Council, and as a daughter of Mexican immigrants, she focused her community involvement on mentoring minority students.  She plans to study at Queen Mary, University of London.

Erin Schulte
US University: Arizona State University

Erin Schulte, from Arizona, graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Global Studies, minors in Economics and Political Science, and a certificate in Data Analytics. Her research has covered a wide breadth of issues, including domestic violence laws, social media usage in the Gaza conflict, and Ukrainian-Russian ethnic tensions. She co-founded the anti-trafficking non-profit All Walks Project and led its international expansion. She plans to pursue an MSc in Political Economy of Emerging Markets and an MA in Big Data in Culture and Society at King’s College London to facilitate a career in data-driven development policy.

Evan Silver
US University: Brown University

Evan Silver, a Chicago native, graduated from Brown University with an Honors degree in Literary Arts. A theatre-maker, filmmaker, writer, composer, musician and visual artist, his multidisciplinary work explores themes of human constancy and variation across time and place, as well as tropes and archetypes drawn from both ancient and modern sources. He is currently on a Luce Scholarship in Bali, Indonesia studying traditional masked dance and shadow puppetry and plans to pursue an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.  Evan is also an avid traveller and outdoor enthusiast. 

Erin Simpson
US University: University of Chicago

Erin Simpson is a civic technologist and the Director of Programs for non-profit Civic Hall Labs. A Truman and Marshall Scholar, Erin will continue her career interrogating bias in technology and exploring its civic potential at Oxford, pursuing MSc’s in the Social Science of the Internet and Comparative Social Policy. A proud Wisconsin native, Erin has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where her award-winning thesis on digital inequality investigated user experience in public computer centres. Erin has worked previously at Microsoft, the White House, and the Neighbourhood Housing Services.

Aaron Solomon
US University: University of Maryland College Park

Aaron Solomon, a native of Greenbelt, MD, is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland at College Park. Aaron’s passion for biology is evident: He has received competitive grant funding to deploy experiments to the International Space Station to study the dangers that infectious bacteria pose to astronauts during long-term space travel and has produced a short film for LabTV and NIH aimed at fostering interest in biomedical research among high school students. In the UK, Aaron will pursue a Master of Science in Genomic Medicine at Imperial College London and a Master in Philosophy in Bioscience Enterprise at the University of Cambridge.

Emilia Truluck
US University: Emory University

Emilia Truluck, from Rincon, Georgia, graduated summa cum laude from Emory University with a double major in Middle Eastern Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A Woodruff Scholar, Truluck studied Arabic in Morocco and Jordan, and conducted research at the Carter Center and Emory Law School. Outside of class, she led weekly volunteer trips for her peers, coordinated campus dialogues on social justice topics, and played bassoon in the Emory Wind Ensemble. She is currently on a Fulbright grant conducting research on street harassment in Jordan. As a Marshall Scholar, Truluck will study the gendered effects of forced migration at the University of Oxford. 

Bailey Ulbricht
US University: Carleton College

Bailey Ulbricht, a Severna Park, MD native, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in International Relations from Carleton College in Minnesota. Bailey’s academic and professional pursuits have focused on the Middle East region. She founded a non-profit called Paper Airplanes, which works to provide educational opportunities to vulnerable Syrian youth through Skype. She was also a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Turkey and was a 2015 recipient of the Davis Scholarship for Peace, where she supported a local educational center for Syrian refugees on the Turkish-Syrian border. Bailey will pursue a Master’s Degree in Islamic Law at the School of Oriental and African College (SOAS) in London with the goal of becoming a future Middle East expert for the US government.

Alina Utrata
US University: Stanford University

Alina Utrata is a senior majoring in History and the Law at Stanford University. Alina’s academic interests have centered on how post-conflict societies transition out of violence, address the legacy of trauma, and the ability of law to impact collective memory. Over the past four years, she has worked at the Asian International Justice Initiative in Phnom Penh, the Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility, and Reconciliation in Sarajevo, and the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau in Washington D.C. She has also assisted with the creation of the first Human Rights minor at Stanford through the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford. In the future, Alina hopes to work on transitional justice and post-conflict issues for the US government or international institutions such as the UN and will pursue a Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast. 

David Wagner
US University: United States Air Force Academy

David Wagner is a senior at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, majoring in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Aeronautical Flight Test and Evaluation, and minoring in Philosophy. Additionally, he is an Instructor Pilot with the Academy’s Soaring program, and teaches students to fly the Air Force’s TG-16A glider. He is from Montreal, Canada, and enjoys skiing in the nearby Rocky Mountains in the winter.  David plans to attain a degree in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh.


Devin Weiss
US University: University of Illinois

Devin Weiss, from Chicago, Illinois, is a sociology major and social justice leader at the University of Illinois. Devin has worked in four different research labs, including the ONE Archives at the University of Southern California. She has published multiple articles and has conducted independent research within the James Scholar Honors Program. After attending the 2016 International Association for Relationship Research Conference in Toronto, Devin’s research has primarily focused on utilizing policy as a vessel to empower women around the world. Devin is a proud member and former Risk Management Chair of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. Devin plans to study Human Rights at the University of Sussex.