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Hunter Senior Wins $20,000 Merage Foundation American Dream Fellowship

Pooja Shah, a senior in the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, has been named a 2011 Merage Foundation American Dream Fellow, one of only 10 nationwide. Shah is the fourth Hunter College student to receive a Merage Fellowship, created in 2004 to assist immigrants in achieving the American Dream.

Originally from India, Shah is a psychology major with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and minors in religion and biology. She has interned at the New York Hospital for Joint Diseases, worked in a sleep lab as part of the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program, and organized recreational activities for individuals with autism, among other projects. Shah will apply the $20,000 award toward tuition at the medical school of the University of Rochester, where she will study to become a neurologist. Her early admission to the school was particularly welcome, she said, since it gave her the time to work on the extensive fellowship application process.

As a Merage American Dream Fellow, Shah will have the opportunity to attend the Foundation’s annual National Leadership awards dinner and interact with previous Fellows and leaders in a variety of fields. Fellows also receive networking support and mentoring from the Foundation throughout their careers.

While at Hunter, Shah has also held an Alfred Harcourt Foundation Scholarship for math and science for her achievements in psychology.

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