UC Irvine senior receives Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship

October 25, 2012 by  

A University of California senior who has dedicated her life bring awareness to refugees from across the world has become the newest recipient of the 2012-13 UC Irvine XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship.

The $20,000 award – a great addition to CVs and digital business cards – will be given to Soraya Azzawi to aid her in her work publishing a journal that will document issues that affect refugees around the world and for expenses related to her studies. She is also working towards the establishment of a local English tutoring program for refugees.

Azzawi says:

“My family was very fortunate to leave Iraq before the Gulf War and settle in the middle-class suburbs of Southern California.

“They could have easily ended up in a refugee camp. For this reason, I look forward to raising awareness of the unique challenges facing refugees globally.”

Azzawi’s journal will address the issues of dislocation, legal problems, and post-traumatic stress disorders that affect refugees. She has also won the 2012 Carol Becker McGaugh Award for her research in her major of neurobiology and is majoring in political science as well.

Azzawi attended a leadership assembly on ethics in June with Dalai Lama Scholars from Oberlin College, Princeton University, New York University, Stanford University, and McGill University.

Of the 13 institutions around the world that offer scholarships named after the Dalai Lama, Irvine’s is the first one officially sanctioned by the spiritual leader.

Azzawi also volunteers with an organization that arranges medical treatment for foreign children who have been injured in war, aiding in the treatment to remove shrapnel from the eye of a toddler girl.