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Celebrating 12 Years of the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship 2011-2024

The AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship promotes educational access and opportunity while enhancing international diversity. Bringing together the best of AU - academic excellence, leadership development, and global engagement - the AU Emerging Global Leader achieves, inspires, and serves with vision. The AU EGL is dedicated to positive civic and social change, and will return home to improve under-resourced, underserved communities in their home country.

This most prestigious scholarship covers tuition, fees, housing, and board and is available for only one international student per year. It is renewable for a total of up to four years of undergraduate study. Each year, the Office of Enrollment receives almost 1,000 inquiries from international students around the world, and approximately 100 students apply. Five AU EGLS finalists are identified and must complete a rigorous series of Zoom interviews and special essays before a candidate is selected. 

The AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship (AU EGLS) was written by International Admissions Director Evelyn Levinson in 2011 to promote educational access and opportunity to international undergraduate students while enhancing AU’s international diversity. Bringing together the best of AU - academic excellence, leadership development, and global engagement - the AU Emerging Global Leader achieves, inspires, and serves with vision. Levinson envisioned AU EGL Scholars who would be dedicated to positive civic and social change, and who would return home to improve under-resourced, underserved communities in their home countries. AU EGLS would also serve as AU Diplomat international student ambassadors. These scholars have not disappointed.

Do you know some who could be our next AU Emerging Global Leader Scholar? Encourage them to review our fall 2024 application information and instructions.

Biggie Tangane, AU Alum

Biography

While at AU, Biggie embarked on a European Union-focused study abroad program in Brussels, which he describes as life-changing. Biggie participated in several extra-curricular activities on campus and took advantage of all that D.C has to offer—internships, summer jobs and fun activities. After graduation, Biggie moved to Mauritius, South Africa, and Botswana to work for several social-impact organizations. Biggie is currently a Strategy & Business Development Manager for De Beers Group where he works to protect consumer confidence on diamonds that are ethically sourced from Southern Africa, which subsequently contributes to the economic well-being of communities where these diamonds are mined.
LinkedIn Profile  Special Interview

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

"The AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship gave me access to many platforms that allowed me to develop my professional skills and establish meaningful connections with thought-leaders from all over the world. AU is truly an international university and my International Studies major allowed me to broaden my scope in the field of international development. I apply several methodologies and skills learned at AU in my work today."

Nargiza at Graduation

Biography

Nargiza graduated SIS with a concentration in international development, identity and culture, and a minor in Information Technology. At AU, she worked in the International Admissions office and served as president of the Central Asian Student Club. She interned at the American Councils in Washington, D.C, USAID in Kyrgyzstan, Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in the U.S. and Canada, and at EndFGM European Network in Brussels, Belgium. Nargiza studied abroad in Brussels, and visited Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine. After graduation, she worked as a Project Management Intern at an international development organization, MSI Tetra Tech, and as an Anti-Money Laundering Analyst at Protiviti, Washington, D.C. She is currently an EducationUSA adviser on U.S. higher education in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
LinkedIn Profile

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

"Receiving the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship in 2015 has been a life-changing opportunity for me. It allowed me to be in an environment where I could realize my full potential not only as a student but also as a leader. I took classes in diverse fields, participated in clubs, participated in an exchange program in Europe, made friends from all over the world, and discussed ideas that went beyond just a classroom. 

Now, two years after graduation, I look back and realize that there is nothing more valuable for a young mind than to be in the right environment with the right group of people who inspire and challenge one another to do great things."

Dayana Sarova in front of Lincoln Memorial

Biography

Dayana graduated AU summa cum laude in August 2020 with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Finance. The recipient of the 2020 SIS Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and the 2019 Excellence in European Studies Award, Dayana pursued research opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. She was a research intern at the National Security Archive and the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the 2017-2018 Olson Scholars cohort, and spent a year taking courses in political science, international relations, and business ethics at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. Dayana became AU's first Global Rhodes Scholarship finalist in fall 2020 and is the first international student to receive the AU’s President's Award in spring 2021. This fall, Dayana will attend the University of Oxford to undertake an to undertake an MSc in Economic and Social History.
LinkedIn Profile 

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

"Winning American University’s Emerging Global Leader Scholarship was the single most transformative and impactful event of my academic career. Aside from opening up professional and academic doors that I did not know existed, it allowed me to become a part of a welcoming community here at AU and to feel at home thousands of miles away from the place where I grew up and spent most of my life. Most crucially, being an EGLS taught me the importance of paying back and paying forward, both to American University at large and to other students whose limitless potential would have never been realized without opportunities like the AU EGL Scholarship."

Lori Younissess in SIS Building

Biography 

Lori graduated with a double major in International Studies and Legal Studies, with a certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies. In recognition of her outstanding achievements, leadership abilities, and contributions to AU, Lori was selected as the 2021 SIS undergraduate commencement speaker, and also received AU’s prestigious Bruce Hughes Award. She was a member of the SPA and SIS Honors Programs and was a 2018 Olson Research Scholar. Lori had numerous experiences at AU and outside think tanks as a research and teaching assistant, scholar, and intern. She presented at several national conferences. On campus, she was a peer adviser, conference organizer, Arabic tutor, managing editor of AU’s Clocks and Clouds, and in her senior year, served on the 2021 AU Emerging Global Leader Scholar selection committee. Her plans include working in DC for a year to gain experience, and then to continue to graduate school for a PhD in Political Theory. Her career goal is to continue to conduct research, teach, and mentor students as a university professor. 
LinkedIn Profile 

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

"The Emerging Global Leader Scholarship was a life changing opportunity that allowed me to experience so much during my time at AU. In the past four years, I have been able to experiment with different interests and activities. Some of the clubs I have been a part of are the Mock Trial team, the Crew Team, AMERIMUNC, and the pre-law society. However, my favorite part of my college experience has been TA-ing for different classes. Since my sophomore year, I have TA-ed/PL-ed for 11 classes. This, along with the different AU research programs, allowed me to discover my passion for mentorship and research. Thanks to my time at AU, the mentors that I have had and the people that I have met, I hope to one day become a professor. The past four years have been incredible for self-discovery and growth and I am beyond grateful and honored to be the 2017 American University Emerging Global Leader Scholar!"

Sledja Ishmakej_Graduation

Biography

Sledja came to AU in 2018 as a distinguished alumna of the U.S. Department of State’s selective FLEX Scholar high school exchange program. She graduated the Kogod School of Business Summa Cum Laude with a major in Finance. Sledja was a Kogod honors student and an Early Identification Program scholar, a member of AU’s Community-Based Research Scholar cohort and was on the Dean’s List from her first semester. Sledja was a peer consultant in Kogod’s Center for Business Communications since sophomore year, and won third place in AU’s Center for Innovation’s Start up and Standout Challenge in 2020 for founding an online platform to build community and increase integration efforts for international students in the U.S. She was a Teaching Assistant (TA) for both the Finance and IT Departments and was also promoted to Head TA for the ITEC Department at Kogod School of Business. In her senior year, Sledja served as VP of Finance for the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Professional Fraternity and was a member of the 2022 AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship selection committee. After a successful internship with Morgan Stanley in 2021 as a summer analyst, Sledja has been offered a full-time OPT position at Morgan Stanley in New York City starting June 2022. LinkedIn Profile

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

The Emerging Global Leader Scholarship has made my life-long dream of studying at a prestigious American university come true. The scholarship has given me tremendous opportunities to explore new passions and ideas that have contributed to my personal and professional growth. Being part of the EGLS and AU community has enabled me to put my best foot forward in the professional world. I have immensely enjoyed serving as an ambassador of my country while immersing myself in AU’s culture. AU has become my home away from home and I look forward to giving back to the community in years to come.

Fareha Abid_Graduation Speaker

Biography

Fareha came to AU as an esteemed alumna of the U.S Department of State’s Youth Exchange and Study high school exchange program. She graduated as undergraduate commencement speaker for the School of International Service (SIS) with a major in International Studies - concentration in Justice, Ethics, and Human Rights with a focus on Europe and MENA regions, and a minor in International Business with a focus on Sustainable Development & Marketing.

Fareha is the only sophomore to have been the recipient of SIS’ 2021 Frank Willis Scotton Award, given to one student who best exemplifies the values and mission of the school.

On campus, Fareha worked as the Vice President for Amnesty International Chapter (AIC), and served as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She wrote for Amlit and Blackprint as well. She enjoyed representing the student body on faculty diversity committees and had the chance to work on redesigning the AUx curriculum. She was also AIC’s 2021 Paradigm Changer, and interned for Mvision LLC, Center for International Private Enterprise, and Managed Funds Association. Among other campus jobs, she also worked as a Program Assistant for U.S. Department of State’s Sister2Sister Exchange Program. She spent a semester abroad at the AU Centre and ICADE business school in Madrid.

Fareha looks forward to gaining more experience in the field of international development, education, and technology.

LinkedIn Profile 

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

The scholarship has allowed me to experience immense growth both personally and professionally. Being in DC, I have had remarkable work experiences to explore and develop my vision for the world, and what I plan to do with it.

AU EGL Chaitanya Graduation

Biography

Chaitanya graduated with a double major in International Studies and Economics, together with certificates in Advanced Leadership Studies and Political Thought. She was a member of the School of International Service (SIS) Honors Program, The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)  Economics Honors Program, an SIS Olson Scholar, and made the Dean’s List consistently while at AU.

During her junior year, she took advantage of AU’s robust study abroad programs to pursue a Policy and Politics Program at AU’s Brussels and Nairobi Transcontinental centers.

Chaitanya held numerous campus leadership positions including Student Co-Director of the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, teaching assistant, AU Ambassador tour guide,  AU Diplomat international student ambassador, and managing director of the AU Clocks & Clouds Undergraduate Research Journal.

She also found time to participate in numerous fellowships, research, and special academic programs such as the Hoover Institution Summer Policy Boot Camp, Stanford University Student Fellow, and AU’s Public Affairs and Policy Lab, AU School of Public Affairs, Student Researcher.

In recognition of her outstanding achievements, leadership abilities, maturity, and contributions to the AU community, Chaitanya received the 2024 AU Bruce Hughes Award, awarded to one graduating senior each year.. 

What lies ahead? Starting fall 2024, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in international economics at the prestigious Geneva Graduate Institute on a full scholarship!

LinkedIn Profile

What the Scholarship Means to Me

"As an international student with an ambition to study abroad and forge an international career, the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship has been the perfect opportunity to further that dream. Also, as a student of International Studies and Economics, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Washington DC, the global political capital, is also the perfect place to harness various internships and professional opportunities to help me in build the career that I dream of! I look forward to learning, growing and fulfilling my dreams at AU! “

Meiying Matute

Biography

Meiying is AU’s first AU EGLS from Latin America and the first EGLS who plans to major in graphic and visual communication design. She is concerned about the lack of value given to creative arts’ programs in public schools and educational curricula, and is committed to access, diversity, and inclusion through the visual and performing arts. She hopes to use her AU education to implement holistic arts education programs in Ecuador. Her diverse extra-curricular high school activities include pharmacy assistant, teaching dance and music education at a local NGO for children with learning disabilities, NHS treasurer, math & English tutor, basketball, theater, violin, and graphic designer. Meiying was on a full academic scholarship at an international high school in Guayaquil and maintained an almost perfect GPA in a most rigorous AP curriculum.

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

"Being part of this group of scholars will allow me to both contribute and expand my previous mentoring experience of welcoming and mentoring incoming students. I will be fully committed to putting the resources, opportunities, and training provided by the scholarship to excellent use. The scholarship will allow me to pursue a state-of-the-art education in an enriched environment that will further enhance my skills, foster my innovative spirit, and build lifelong friendships. Finally, I will always proudly carry AU’s name into every success in my future."

AU EGLS Tarumbidzwa Chirume

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

"This scholarship represents a little girl’s dream and a young woman’s purpose. This means not only an opportunity to pursue my studies at a prestigious university without financial worries but also the opportunity to pursue my desire to learn about international relations and justice in the heart of the nation’s capital. Thanks to this scholarship, the people I meet, the streets which I peruse, and the classes I take will shape me indelibly into the person I hope to become."

Ekaterina Simonova, AU EGLS 2023

My Thoughts on the Scholarship

Winning this scholarship has proved to me that nothing in this world is impossible. An ambitious girl from a small town in Russia can study at a prestigious U.S. university, can work with prominent professors, and can get a degree in Communications and Business to fulfill her dreams and make her family proud. I feel honored to have been selected as the 2023 AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship recipient and cannot wait to take advantage of all the opportunities that AU has to offer!