PhD in electrical engineering & computer science at MIT
Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, Aziza Almanakly is the daughter of Syrian immigrants, who came to the United States in the early 1990s in pursuit of academic opportunities.
MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia
Hajjar Baban is an Afghan Kurdish poet who was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was two. Hajjar’s mother had sought refuge in Pakistan from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, where she was born, and Hajjar’s father had escaped persecution in Pakistan as a Kurd in Iran. Having arrived in the United States with no real community, Hajjar and her siblings grew up in Dearborn, Michigan.
Kartik is a child of immigrants from India and grew up across the United States and India. Kartik’s academic research borrows tools used to build machine learning systems and applies them to solving open problems in visual computing. This interdisciplinary work, which Kartik conducted both at Stanford and in industry labs, has led to publications in a variety of domains, as well as open-source software projects that are used by thousands of engineers at small and large companies every day.
JD at Harvard
Born in Los Angeles, Hassaan Shahawy is the son of Egyptian immigrants who came to the United States in the 1980s. His grandparents suffered the perils of war, political prison, and exile to fight for justice in Egypt and elsewhere, and his mother’s name in Arabic means “to refuse,” meant to signify his family’s refusal to tolerate injustice.