Syracuse, NY, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dina Eldawy has been named as a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. She is the second Marshall Scholar in Syracuse University history. Eldawy is an international relations major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairsand a citizenship and civic engagement (CCE) major in the Maxwell School.
Funded by the British government, the Marshall Scholarship finances outstanding American students to study in the United Kingdom. Regional committees of British consular personnel and former Marshall Scholars interview finalists and select up to 40 scholars each year to study at the graduate level at U.K. institutions in any field of study. Marshall Scholars are chosen based on their academic merit, leadership and ambassadorial potential.
Eldawy, of Pensacola, Fla., is a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, a 2018 Truman Scholar and a 2018-19 Remembrance Scholar. She has spent the fall 2018 semester in Washington, D.C., through the Maxwell-in-Washington program.
Eldawy plans a future working on immigration and education reform policy, and contributing to peacebuilding in the Middle East. She will use the two-year Marshall award to fund two master’s degrees in the U.K. For her first year, she will enroll in the migration and global development MA at the University of Sussex. In her second year, she plans to complete an MSc in comparative and international education at the University of Oxford.
A career in public service is a natural fit for Eldawy, who says she’s been given a multitude of blessings in her life and feels a strong need to give back. “Being a child of immigrants, and an immigrant myself, I've witnessed how my parents worked tirelessly to build their new lives in this country,” Eldawy says. “They care deeply, they pray deeply, and I am the result of that love, care and selflessness I saw in my parents. Now I have so many opportunities and I want to spend the rest of my life giving to those in need. I cannot sit back and accept the inequalities, discrimination and violence we see here in the U.S. and abroad, and I hope to make an impact one day.”
In Syracuse, Eldawy has interned at the North Side Learning Center, a local refugee education center, for three years. There, she teaches English to high school girls from Somalia and Syria. “These girls have taught me the meaning of resilience, and inspire me in my work on refugee education policy and in breaking down racial and socioeconomic barriers in the U.S. as a whole,” she says.
She has also worked in education centers in Santiago, Chile, with Bolivian and Peruvian immigrants there, and in Tyre, Lebanon, with Palestinian refugees.
Eldawy has been involved with interfaith work and activism through the Muslim and Arab student associations on campus. “I believe that dialogue through one-on-one, grassroots community building is an invaluable tool to break down barriers, as we try to do on campus,” she says.
This semester, Eldawy is interning at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., working as a research intern for the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. The center focuses on national and local education policies in place for immigrant communities and English language learners.
“My internship ties directly with the work I do in Syracuse, especially because my senior honors thesis is a direct action plan that addresses English language services for Syracuse refugee communities. It has definitely solidified my interest in studying refugee populations and education policy in my graduate studies,” she says.
Carol Faulkner, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of history in the Maxwell School, first met Eldawy in MAX 301 Justice, Ethics and Citizenship, a required seminar for the CCE major. “In class discussions, Dina emphasized the importance of engagement, with peers, faculty, administrators and the wider community. In a class that focused on theories and practices of citizenship, she was a passionate advocate for an active model of citizenship.”
Faulkner says Eldawy is an outstanding thinker, writer, communicator and leader. “She will be a wonderful representative of Syracuse University and the United States,” Faulkner says. “She has embraced all the opportunities available to her at Syracuse University—Syracuse Abroad, Maxwell-in-Washington, the Honors Program, and her citizenship and civic engagement and international relations double major—to explore her interests in migration and education policy. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Eldawy worked with the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) on her application materials and to prepare for her Marshall interview. “Dina embodies the very best of our Syracuse community in the vision, determination, and commitment to service she brings to her work,” says Jolynn Parker, CFSA director. “She has clear, focused plans for graduate study in the U.K. This extraordinary award will enable her to fulfill those goals.”
The Marshall Scholarships were established in 1953 by the British government to honor the ideals of the Marshall Plan and the special U.S./U.K. relationship.