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Advocate for Women's Rights Receives Truman Scholarship

April 29, 2014

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Rana Abdelhamid, a Middlebury College junior and outspoken advocate for women’s rights, has been selected for the 2014 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, in addition to leadership training, specialized counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government. Middlebury’s recipient is one of 59 undergraduates in the United States to receive this year’s Truman Scholarship.

Abdelhamid, from Flushing, N.Y, plans to apply to graduate programs at the Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is also the recipient of a 2014 Pickering Fellowship, a program that often leads to a career with U.S. Department of State.

As she wrote in her Truman Scholarship application: “I hope to work with international organizations that aim to bring about global political and economic reform. For example, I see myself helping to develop more equitable policy as a program specialist or policy advisor in the State Department’s Office for Global Women’s Issues.”

Before enrolling at Middlebury, Abdelhamid founded the Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), a self-defense, leadership, and entrepreneurship program for Muslim girls in New York City.  

The director of the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Professor Jon Isham, said, “The work Rana is doing alongside young women with WISE is absolutely inspiring. It’s a program that matters, that works, and that – through Rana’s training of other young women – is replicable and scalable. WISE is social entrepreneurship at its very best.”

Abdelhamid is a Posse Foundation scholar who also works on campus with the Islamic Society, JusTalks (which promotes social justice), two Alternative Break Trips to Latin America, the Student Government Association, and the college chapter of Amnesty International. She is currently studying abroad in Spain.

The Truman Foundation, which was established by Congress in 1975 to honor the 33rd president, defines Truman Scholars as “future change agents” who have demonstrated “the passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities – government agencies, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, or advocacy organizations – serve the public good.”

Photo by Jennifer Kiewit



by Charlie MacCormack (not verified) at Mon, 05/05/2014 - 8:38am

Dear Rana,

Congratulations on all you have achieved, and best wishes for continued success with your graduate studies.

Charlie MacCormack


by Tara Affolter (not verified) at Sat, 05/03/2014 - 4:15pm

Since mother's are chiming in...I am also so proud to be your Posse mentor and stand in mama while you are on campus Rana. You are such an amazing young woman!

Enhorabuena, Rana

by Carmen (not verified) at Sat, 05/03/2014 - 6:55am

Qué alegría, Rana, es una magnífica noticia, estoy segura de que vas a mejorar el mundo en el que vivimos, ya has empezado a hacerlo.

Rana abdelhamid

by mona abdelhamid (not verified) at Thu, 05/01/2014 - 3:21pm

So proud of you Rana
Your mother
Mona Abdelhamid

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