Student and Alumni News

Macaulay Alumna Wins a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship For New Americans

Macaulay Honors College congratulates 2018 graduate Sana Batool ’18 (Lehman) on receiving one of the nation’s most prestigious academic honors, a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.

The $90,000 fellowship rewards high achievement by immigrants and children of immigrants who’ve demonstrated the potential to make significant contributions to American society, culture, or academic concentration. Sana is one of 30 Soros Fellowship winners of from a pool of 1,767.

A native of Quetta, Pakistan, Sana is a member of the Hazara, an ethnic minority subjected to prejudice and terrorism. Opportunities for upward mobility in their homeland are rare, especially for women. Sana spoke very little English when she arrived in the US as a pre-teen and struggled to find her footing. “Being a physician was definitely not something I thought about,” she offers. “I did not interact with physicians who were Hazaras. You do not think that role is achievable if you have never seen someone like you in that role.”

At her home campus of Lehman College, Sana was an impressive student, majoring in biochemistry and conducting graduate level research. Notes Gary Schwartz, Director of Macaulay at Lehman, “Sana is an extraordinarily focused young scientist whose penetrative intellectual powers of perception are perfectly balanced by her exceptionally accessible and receptive personality.”

Sana will be the first known Hazara from Quetta to attend an American medical school. She is also the first in her immediate family to attend college. This fall she will head to Harvard Medical School.

“In addition to Sana’s outstanding research, the creativity, spirit and drive that underlies her work captivated our team of readers and panelists,” said Craig Harwood, director of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.

Sana is also a CUNY Jonas E. Salk Scholarship winner, selected for her potential to make significant contributions to medical research. Top, Sana with her parents and Macaulay Dean Mary C. Pearl at the awards ceremony.