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Two Georgians Selected for Prestigious Soros Fellowship

May 2005
Two Georgians Selected for Prestigious Soros Fellowship

Immigrants once again claimed a lion's share of the awards at the eighth competition of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Amongst the winners of this prestigious national awards were to Indian Americans from Georgia.

The Soros Fellows were chosen from over 1000 applicants from 336 undergraduate and 156 graduate institutions. Selected for this honor by an independent panel that is itself made up of distinguished New Americans, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows will receive for two years one-half of the tuition cost of their graduate study at any institution of higher education in the United States, as well as a maintenance grant of $20,000 per year. The two Georgians who have been selected for this prestigious fellowship are Arun Mohan and Rajesh Gupta.

Arun Mohan whose parents reside in Monroe, Georgia is a joint MD/MBA candidate at Emory University. He received his BA in sociology and anthropology with a concentration in Latin American studies from Swarthmore College. He studied as a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Fellow towards a Master's in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University. At Swarthmore, Arun was the editor-in-chief of The Phoenix and founded the Danza Tenotchli Summer Program. Since coming to Atlanta, Arun has served as the president and co-founder of Health Students Taking Action Together, Inc. (www.hstatweb.org), a non-profit organization promoting student engagement on health-related issues in Atlanta. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of the Atlanta Medical Association, a director of Georgians for a Common Sense Health Plan, an advisor for Wellsolve Health Research Network and the co-founder of Recognizing and Encouraging Aspirations in Community Health. Also, he is the first-ever student director of the American Medical Association Foundation. He envisions a career as a physician-advocate, concerned with access to and quality of healthcare.

Rajesh Gupta whose parents reside in Acworth, Georgia is an MD candidate at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He received a BS in cellular biology and a BA in psychology from Tulane University, besides being an MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health. Rajesh has been a counselor for the New Orleans AIDS Task Force and conducted research at Emory and Tulane Universities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva as both a scientist and a policy adviser. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Medical School and a visiting scientist at the Uganda Virus Research Institute. He has also published in leading scientific journals such as the Lancet and Science. His career aspiration is to combat disease from a comprehensive health management perspective and to help bridge the equity divide between populations.

The Fellowships were established in 1997. It is funded by income from a charitable trust of $50 million created by philanthropists Paul and Daisy Soros, of New York City and New Canaan, Connecticut. Since the program's inception, over $16 million dollars have been spent in support of graduate education of New Americans.

The finalists were interviewed in Los Angeles and New York by an independent selection panel made up of New Americans. Ranging in age from 20 to 29, these young people are pursuing careers in music, medicine, law, business, literature, photography, anthropology, economics, conservation, public policy, political science, international relations, sociology, and public health. They are enrolled in graduate programs at Harvard, Stanford, Emory, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, UCBerkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA, Juilliard, University of Chicago, MIT and Yale. Among the more than 1000 applicants from 336 undergraduate and 156 graduate institutions, there were represented 134 different national origins, including many minorities within countries such as Kurds, Armenians, Jews, Overseas Indians, Copts, Chaldeans, Baha'i and Hmong.

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