President Jennifer J. Raab announced that Hunter College junior, Safia Mahjebin, has been named a Truman Scholar. Mahjebin is one of 59 new Truman Scholars selected from among 756 candidates at 311 colleges and universities nationwide. The Truman Scholarship is one of the most coveted of nationally competitive scholarships and supports two years of graduate study. It was founded in 1975 to prepare future generations for careers in public service leadership.
“I’ve known Safia since her first year at Hunter and have watched her progress as a Roosevelt Scholar through a string of fellowships and public service initiatives that have distinguished her as an outstanding public service leader of the future. We are so very gratified that the Truman Foundation has recognized Safia’s already significant contribution to the cause of children’s rights by bestowing this distinction.” While at Hunter, Mahjebin has been instrumental in helping to pass legislation to raise the legal age of marriage for girls in New York State from age 14 to age 17, by testifying before the New York State Assembly.
Mahjebin is only the second student in Hunter’s history to win a Truman. Christine Curella, who majored in urban studies and economics at Hunter, earned the honor in 2006-07, before getting a master’s in City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Curella currently works for the New York City Mayor’s Office.
A philosophy major, Mahjebin became a JFEW Scholar at Roosevelt House in her sophomore year, and this year was named a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Mahjebin is the only Truman Scholar in this year’s class from a public university in New York. Mahjebin plans to pursue both a JD and PhD in Islamic studies so that she can advocate for women throughout the world: “I want to make the world a better place for girls and women, than the world I came into.”
President Raab points out that Mahjebin is the latest in a group of outstanding Hunter students who have won prestigious international scholarships at Hunter this year. Thamara Jean received a Rhodes Scholarship in November and Matthew Locastro was recently named a Luce Scholar. “These achievements only underscore the high caliber of our student body and the important work of the Ruth and Harold Newman office of Prestigious Scholarships & Fellowships in supporting our students in their pursuit of excellence.”