National Fellowships and Awards

Historically, President's Scholars have been some of SMU's most successful national fellowship applicants. Working closely with director of the PS Program and adviser for national fellowships Dr. Rachel Ball-Phillips, PS's have clear access to amazing opportunities. This year, President's Scholars were again well-represented as finalists and recipients of these prestigious awards.

Student Spotlight: Recent Award Recipients

Benjamin Chi (PS ’17)

Ben was named a 2019 Schwarzman Scholar. He is the first SMU student to ever be awarded this honor. While on campus, Ben majored in health and society and biochemistry, helped found SMU’s first undergraduate research journal and served as vice president of SMU's East Asian Student Association. He assisted his fellow students as an honors mentor in Kathy Crow Residential Commons and sat on the University’s Honors Advisory Council. As an undergraduate, Ben also led Richter fellowship-funded research in China to study why rural-to-urban migrants known as the Nong Zhuan Fei were developing diabetes at an alarming rate. Learn more about Ben here.

Schwarzman Scholars complete a one-year master’s program in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, concentrating in public policy, economics and business, or international studies. The program is designed to build leadership and professional skills in future global leaders. Read more here.

Kenneth Martin (PS ’17)

Kenny was selected for the 2018 Humanity in Action Fellowship program in Warsaw, Poland, and was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Peru. While at SMU, Kenny majored in music and English with a creative writing specialization. Editor of SMU’s Hilltopics honors magazine, Kenny also wrote for The Daily Campus newspaper, and competed with the SMU Ballroom dance team. Learn more about Kenny here.

The Humanity in Action Fellowship programs bring together international groups of university students and recent graduates to explore past and present examples of resistance to intolerance, with a goal of encouraging future leaders to be engaged citizens and responsible decision makers. Humanity in Action is an international educational organization headquartered in New York City. Read more here.

The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. Projects may include university course work, independent library or field research, professional training in the arts, independent projects in the social or life sciences, assistant teach English, or a combination of these or other projects. Read more here.

Ian Johnson (PS ’18)

Ian was named a 2017-2018 Barry Goldwater Scholar for his work in the Lyle School of Engineering. Ian is majoring in computer science with particular interest in machine learning. He conducted research on new methods of user authentication with Daniel Engels, associate professor of computer science. Conducting research under Michael Hahsler, assistant professor of engineering management, information and systems, Ian also developed boosted associated classification, a learning algorithm that helps machines make classification predictions based on non-numeric data. To learn more about Ian, read here.

Goldwater Scholars are top mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by their universities and nationally selected. These students receive funding to support their work as the Nation’s future leaders in natural sciences, engineering and mathematics research. Read more here.

Rahfin Faruk (PS ’15)

Rahfin was awarded a Marshall Scholarship to pursue master’s degrees in development finance at the University of Reading and in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford. Rahfin graduated summa cum laude with majors in economics, political science, public policy and religious studies. While on campus, he was selected to serve as the voting student member of the SMU Board of Trustees. Rahfin also led the University’s student newspaper The Daily Campus and the Tower Center Student Forum, where students examine politics and public policy. In 2014 he was one of only 59 U.S. college students awarded a Truman Scholarship, which recognizes “change agents” who are committed to public service. Learn more about Rahfin here.

Marshall Scholars are future leaders selected to strengthen US-UK relations by completing graduate-level study in any field at an UK institution. Up to forty Scholars are selected annually. Read more here.