Friday Letter Home
Submit Article Subscribe Unsubscribe  
  JUNE 22, 2012
Soros Fellowship Awarded to Columbia’s El-Sayed
Dr. El-SayedAbdul

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans named Columbia’s Abdulrahman El-Sayed, as one of this year’s awardees to support his MD and PhD studies at Columbia University. Dr. El-Sayed works closely with Dr. Sandro Galea, chair of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, as a PhD student in epidemiology at the Mailman School. He is also completing his MD at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. His work has resulted in 28 publications on such topics as ethnic and socioeconomic health inequalities and complex systems approaches in social epidemiology.

To recognize the contributions “new Americans” have made to American business, arts, science, education, government, courts, nonprofits and other areas, the Soros Fellowships program has awarded millions of dollars to help children of immigrants pay for graduate school in the U.S. Each year, 30 fellows receive up to $90,000 to help cover two years of tuition and other educational and living expenses, to study any subject at any U.S. university. Soros fellowship recipients, who are selected for their “original ideas and sustained accomplishments,” must also have participated in government or other forum dedicated to the freedoms set forth in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Dr. El-Sayed, whose parents came to this country from Egypt, has had outstanding credentials throughout his academic career. As the top student in his class at the University of Michigan, he was the senior speaker at his graduation. Bill Clinton said of Dr. El-Sayed’s speech: “I wish every person in the world who believes that we’re fated to have a clash of civilizations and cannot reach across the religious divide could have heard you speak today.” Following 9/11 and a summer spent in Egypt, Dr. El-Sayed saw health education as a basis from which he could address health inequalities. He won a Rhodes scholarship following his second year of medical school and earned a doctoral degree in public health at Oxford.

[Photo:  Dr. Abdulrahman El-Sayed]