Samia Ismail and Coleman Warren
Samia Ismail, a U-graduate, and Coleman Warren, a current graduate student, have been nominated as finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship, the world’s most prestigious scholarship to complete postgraduate studies in the UK.
Ishmael has been selected as one of the finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship, and Warren is one of the finalists for the Marshall and Rhodes Scholarships.
Ismail graduated highest rating In 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, two branches of the Arabic language. Warren is a major with honors in industrial engineering and political science at the College of Engineering and the Fulbright School of Arts and Sciences. Both Ishmael and Warren are scholars of Harry S. Truman, who recognized them as two of the country’s future senior public officials.
“Samiya and Coleman are two wonderful individuals with excellent academic records and a history of service that make them so worthy of this recognition,” said Terry Martin, interim dean and vice president for academic affairs. “The university could not be more proud of them for this honor, but more importantly, for their commitment to serving staff on important issues such as medical care in rural communities and food insecurity in the state. Regardless of the outcome of these competitions, you will make an important difference for the state and our communities.”
Finalists for both awards are selected from hundreds of applicants from across the country each year. The Marshall Scholarship provides for one or two years of postgraduate study at any university in the UK. The Rhodes Scholarship provides up to three years of study at the University of Oxford. Interviews for both awards are taking place this week.
A native of Fort Smith, Ismail is a 2020 Biomedical Engineering Distinguished Senior Fellow, a 2018 Golden Tusk Award recipient, and a Minority Travel Grant from the American Institute of Biomedical and Bioengineering from the Institute of Public Policy.
She plans to eventually attend medical school and work as a practitioner in rural Arkansas, while also helping to shape policy that improves access to medical care and health outcomes for rural Corner residents.
“I am incredibly honored to be selected as a Rhodes Finalist, and I greatly owe this opportunity to my advisors and mentors at both the University of Arkansas and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy,” she said. “It is very exciting that attention is being paid not only to my individual efforts, but to the larger topic of rural health inequalities in America, and especially to the disadvantaged and marginalized people in these communities.”
As a student, Ismail has been highly involved both on campus and in the community. I pursued research on campus with Jimmy Hestkin, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and completed an honors thesis under the supervision of Raj Rao, Professor of Biomedical Engineering. After her first year, she was accepted into a competitive research position at the Shippens Eye Research Institute in Boston.
She also held various volunteer and leadership positions on campus, serving as a member of the Honorary College Special Events Committee, student representative of the Advisory Committee on Women’s Affairs, Chair of the Distinguished Lectures Committee, and Vice President of the Student Activities Program Office. Board of Appropriations and Co-Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Affiliate Student Government.
Off campus, she was heavily involved in politics, and volunteered for numerous campaigns statewide. She is currently a Truman Albright Fellow with the Federal Office for Rural Health Policy, where she co-led a coalition of federal and nongovernmental partners to identify best practices and funding opportunities related to the mental health needs of farmers, ventilator distribution to rural areas during COVID, and access to healthcare for diverse communities. and other issues affecting rural health.
Coleman Warren, a native of Farmington, is the current president of the Affiliate Student Government. As an incoming freshman, he is the recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship and is also the recipient of the Industrial Engineering Scholar Award, the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers Scholarship and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Warren plans a career focused on helping alleviate children’s food insecurity in Arkansas, and he hopes to eventually run for the US Congress.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity and all the wonderful people who have supported me in getting to this point in the process,” Coleman said. “The Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to obtain a world-class education with a community of change-makers from around the world. I am excited to represent Arkansas, and I hope to develop a deeper understanding of how to address issues that have been intractable such as the lack of Food security in the state and in the country.”
Prior to his election as president, Warren held several positions within student government, including director of policy and director of Open Education Resources. He has also volunteered at a Northwest Arkansas food bank and as Razorback’s partner coordinator for food recalls for the Volunteer Work Center.
Politically, he volunteered for local campaigns, and in the summer of 2021 served as a legislative intern in the US House of Representatives.
After his freshman year, Warren worked as a summer assistant at AmeriCorps VISTA at the Heartland Food Bank in Omaha, Nebraska. While there, he developed the idea of setting up a small business to serve as a source of income for a Northwest Arkansas Benefit nonprofit that alleviates child food insecurity. Upon returning home, he created Simple + Sweet, a artisanal ice cream company that has so far donated more than $10,000 to local nonprofits.
In addition, he founded Simply Feeding, a non-profit organization that aims to help students in rural areas sell ice cream to benefit their communities while gaining valuable entrepreneurial knowledge.
Students or alumni interested in applying for prestigious scholarships should contact the Nationally Competitive Awards Office at Awards@uark.edu.
About the Marshall Scholarship: Beginning with the first twelve Marshall Scholars in 1954, the Marshall Scholarships were established in order to fund young Americans of high potential to study for a postgraduate degree in the United Kingdom. The Marshall Scholars work to strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent, and broad-based. It allows recipients one to three years of study at a postgraduate level at any UK university. The first Marshall Scholar at U of A was John Eddy, selected in 1960. The scholarships recognize the work of US Secretary of State George C. Marshall and are an expression of the UK’s gratitude for the economic assistance it received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Marshall Scholarship winners are selected for their ability to excel as scholars, leaders, and contributors to improving understanding between the United States and the United Kingdom. (2002), Megan Ceronsky (2001), Warwick Sabin (1998), Charles King (1990), Lisa Pruitt (1989), and John Edie (1960).
About the Rhodes Scholarship: The Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest international fellowship, began after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902. The scholarship aims to bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. The first American scientists were elected in 1904, and Neil Carothers of the University of Arkansas was one of the Rhodes Scholars that first year. Rhodes Scholars are elected to two years of study at Oxford University with the possibility of renewal for a third year. Ten students from the University of Arkansas were selected to be Rhodes Scholars. The most recent was Anna Terry (2000).
About the University of Arkansas: As the premier institution in Arkansas, U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy by teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship, career development, and discovery through research and creative activity while providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Endowment ranks the U of A in the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report U of A ranks among the best public universities in the country. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.
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