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>  News Releases >   2009 >   November

Dartmouth senior awarded Mitchell Scholarship

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/24/09 • Media Contact: Bonnie Barber (603) 646-3661

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Ibrahim Elshamy
Ibrahim Elshamy (photo by Carol Clayton)

Ibrahim Elshamy, 22, a Dartmouth senior from Manchester, N.H., is one of nine national recipients of the 2010-2011 George J. Mitchell Scholarship. Mitchell Scholarships are awarded annually to up to 12 Americans under the age of 30 to pursue a year of post-graduate study at universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Elshamy will pursue a master’s degree in peace and conflict studies at University of Ulster, in collaboration with the International Conflict Research Institute, which is chaired by Nobel Laureate John Hume.

“I am humbled to receive this scholarship, named for a person I admire, former U.S. senator and peacemaker George Mitchell. I intend to devote my life to finding ways that empower others to improve their lives, communities, and achieve their hopes,” said Elshamy, a double major in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Native American Studies who will complete his undergraduate degree in June 2010. “Learning in Ireland will be especially auspicious—their successful peace process, once believed impossible, is an inspiring example to me of a divided society that was able to work together to overcome conflict and violence and create a brighter future.”

A graduate of Manchester (N.H.) Central High School, Elshamy added that he hopes “increased understanding, both from the curriculum and the unique opportunities outside the classroom, will shape my vision of future work in the Middle East and promising peace strategies that emphasize community-building, sustainable development, and education.”

The son of an Egyptian immigrant, Elshamy has been working toward those goals as a Dartmouth undergraduate, advocating for underserved populations in Cairo, the South Side of Chicago, and in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. As a volunteer with STAR refugee mentoring in Cairo for five months in 2008, he taught English and provided emigration assistance to war-torn refugees and recruited Dartmouth students to serve as interns for this over-burdened organization. Last summer in Chicago, Elshamy worked with the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a community organization that seeks to empower residents by providing legal aid and education, essential services (e.g., a free health clinic), and helping to develop community advocacy capacities.

At Dartmouth, Elshamy currently serves as the Student Director of the Tucker Foundation, which supports spiritual life on campus and community service projects around the globe. Through the Tucker Foundation he has participated in two Hurricane Katrina relief service projects, chaired a tutoring outreach program for underachieving Vermont elementary school children, and coordinated four major student service programs. He also serves as an Undergraduate Advisor, is a former president of Al-Nur, the Muslim student organization, and is a member of the Casque and Gauntlet senior society. Last June he received the Dean’s Prize, which is awarded each year to the senior who has contributed most significantly to the quality of life on campus. Elshamy was also named a Harry S. Truman Scholar in May 2009, received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship in 2008, and a Mellon Mays Foundation Fellowship.

The Mitchell Scholarship was launched in 1998 with an endowment from the Government of Ireland, and recognizes outstanding young Americans who exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. Administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., it is named in honor of the pivotal role the former U.S. Senator from Maine played in the Northern Ireland peace process. Mitchell Scholarships have become one of the most intensely competitive fellowship programs in the United States. There were nearly 300 applicants from more than 150 colleges and universities across the country. More information about the Mitchell Scholarships can be found on Dartmouth's National Scholarships/Fellowships page.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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