P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Meet the Class of 2022

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The 2022 Class of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows is made up of 30 outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants from all over the country and world who are pursuing graduate school here in the United States. Selected from more than 1,800 applicants, each of the recipients was chosen for their potential to make significant contributions to the United States and will receive up to $90,000 in funding over two years. Interested in applying? Learn more here.

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Christeebella Akpala

MD student at the Mayo Clinic

Emigrated from Nigeria at 17; translated for the US Navy; nursing degree from Towson; certified critical care nurse, studying worldwide ICU treatment strategies for COVID-19 patients.

Click to read Christeebella's full biography

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Mussab Ali

JD student at Harvard

Immigrant from Pakistan raised in Jersey City, NJ; Rutgers-Newark graduate; president of the Jersey City Board of Education; first elected at age 20; overcame stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Click to read Mussab's full biography

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Anis Barmada

MD/PhD student in immunology at Yale

Immigrated to Illinois at 17 after living through civil war in Syria; UIC graduate; science and op-ed writer; advancing medicine and conducting research to address incurable diseases.

Click to read Anis's full biography

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Quenton Rashawn Bubb

MD/PhD student in stem cell biology at Stanford

Parents emigrated from Grenada and settled in Brooklyn, NY; Johns Hopkins graduate; worked in life sciences investments; hopes to develop curative cell and gene therapies.

Click to read Quenton's full biography

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Audrey Chen

DMA student in cello performance at the CUNY Graduate Center

Child of Taiwanese immigrants; raised in Washington; Harvard and New England Conservatory graduate; working to spread the joy of chamber music and expand the definition of classical music.

Click to read Audrey's full biography

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Patrick Collard

Incoming PhD student in economics

Emigrated from Guerrero, Mexico at 15; founded a company to pay for college; University of South Florida graduate; recent pre-doctoral research fellow at MIT; interested in health and development economics.

Click to read Patrick's full biography

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Fernanda De La Torre

PhD student in brain and cognitive sciences at MIT

Immigrated to Kansas City from Guadalajara, Mexico at 12; community college and Kansas State University graduate; develops computational models of human perception and imagination.

Click to read Fernanda's full biography

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Oscar De Los Santos

Incoming JD student at Yale

Child of Mexican immigrants; raised in Los Angeles; USC graduate; studied Christian social ethics at Union Theological Seminary; defending the voting rights of the poor and vulnerable.

Click to read Oscar's full biography

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Andrea Alejandra Deleón Cruz 

JD student at Yale 

Immigrated to Los Angeles from Acajutla, El Salvador at 6; Stanford graduate and Questbridge Scholar; working to transform the criminal justice and immigration systems.

Click to read Andrea's full biography

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Esther Elonga

MD/PhD student at Stanford

Fled the DRC at 3; lived in Uganda for 13 years before resettling in New Hampshire; Harvard graduate; hopes to care for patients and discover therapies for rare genetic diseases.

Click to read Esther's full biography

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Dave Epstein

PhD student in computer science at UC Berkeley

Child of Israeli parents; raised in California and then Israel; Columbia graduate; aims to develop algorithms that teach machines to be intelligent and creative.

Click to read Dave's full biography

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Tania Fabo

MD/PhD student in genetics at Stanford

Born in Germany to Cameroonian immigrants; moved to the US at 7; Harvard graduate; researching gene-environment interactions in colorectal cancer with a focus on marginalized groups.

Click to read Tania's full biography

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Edward Friedman

JD student at Yale

Parents left the former Soviet Union with their families and met in Brooklyn; born with cerebral palsy in NYC; Macaulay at Hunter College, CUNY graduate; disability advocate.

Click to read Edward's full biography

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Rishi Goel

MD student at the University of Pennsylvania

Born in Ann Arbor, MI to Indian immigrants; University of Michigan graduate; researching the development of immune memory after SARS-CoV-2 infection or mRNA vaccination.

Click to read Rishi's full biography

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Wenjie Gong

Incoming PhD student in physics at MIT

Emigrated from China to the US at 4; senior at Harvard; studies quantum information theory; hoping to transform classical computation, cryptography, and communications.

Click to read Wenjie's full biography

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Zubia Hasan

PhD student in physics at Harvard

Born and raised in Pakistan; immigrated to the US at 17; Johns Hopkins graduate; likes to write poetry and fiction; hopes to synthesize and characterize novel quantum materials that benefit society.

Click to read Zubia's full biography

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Tao Hong

PhD student in interdisciplinary material science at Vanderbilt

Raised by grandparents in China; immigrated at 21; Queensborough Community College, CUNY and Cornell graduate; improving portable cancer diagnosis tools to help patients like his mother.

Click to read Tao's full biography

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Kingson Lin

MD/PhD in experimental pathology at Yale

Lived with grandparents in China before moving to Queens, NY; Penn graduate; currently researching the design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel chemotherapeutics for drug resistant brain cancers.

Click to read Kingson's full biography

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Andrew Lu

MD/PhD student in biology at UCLA and Caltech

Born in Tainan and raised in Taiwan, Canada and the US; UC Berkeley graduate; hopes to build next generation therapeutic platform leveraging recent advances in synthetic biology and oncology.

Click to read Andrew's full biography

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Trang Luu

Incoming MS/MBA student in engineering sciences at Harvard

Immigrated to Houston at 3 from Vietnam; MIT graduate; co-founded Encora to non-invasively reduce hand tremors; endeavors to continue innovating as an entrepreneur.

Click to read Trang's full biography

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Arturo Macías Franco

MSc/PhD student in animal and rangeland sciences and agricultural Sciences at University of Nevada - Reno

Grew up in Mexico; immigrated at 17; transferred from community college to UNR; studying sustainability of dryland agriculture systems to improve life for farmers.

Click to read Arturo's full biography

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Laura Nicolae

PhD student in business economics at Harvard

Born in Kansas to Romanian immigrants; Harvard graduate; studying how monetary policy and financial regulation can better help stabilize the economy during recessions.

Click to read Laura's full biography

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Osaremen Fortune Okolo

Incoming PhD student in the history of science at Harvard

Child of Nigerian immigrants; Harvard graduate; White House policy advisor on COVID-19 response; will study racial health inequity in historical and policy contexts as a Presidential Scholar.

Click to read Osaremen's full biography

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Syamantak Payra

Incoming PhD student in elecrtical engineering at Stanford

Parents emigrated from India and settled in Houston; senior at MIT; has multiple research publications; aims to create new biomedical devices that can help improve daily life for patients worldwide.

Click to read Syamantak's full biography

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Alexander (Olek) Pisera

PhD student in biomedical engineering at UC Irvine

Parents emigrated from Poland; Johns Hopkins graduate; interested in the development of synthetic biology tech enabled by developments in DNA synthesis and sequencing.

Click to read Olek's full biography

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Sai Rajagopal

Incoming MD student at Harvard

Immigrant from Canada; Harvard graduate; cofounded the Bridging Borders Project; hopes to become a reconstructive surgeon, conveying the complex science of gender-affirming care to the public.

Click to read Sai's full biography

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Katarina Richter-Lunn

DDes student in architecture at Harvard

Child of British and German parents; California Polytechnic State University graduate; researching how mental wellbeing can be addressed through architecture and technology.

Click to read Katarina's full biography

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Hari Srinivasan

Incoming PhD student in neuroscience at Vanderbilt

Born in California to Indian immigrants; senior at UC Berkeley; diagnosed with autism and ADHD at 3; passionate about research that will better our knowledge and understanding of autism.

Click to read Hari's full biography

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Laila Ujayli

JD student at Harvard

Daughter of Syrian immigrants; graduate of The Ohio State University; hopes to be a screenwriter and human rights lawyer, utilizing storytelling to uplift laws and freedoms.

Click to read Laila's full biography

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Lawrence T. Wang

MD student at UC San Diego

Child of Taiwanese immigrants; Haverford graduate; discovered a monoclonal antibody that may prevent malaria, which completed Phase I testing and is undergoing further clinical trials.

Click to read Lawrence's full biography

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