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Honors College Scholar Sumar Beauti Becomes USM’s First Boren Scholar

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 02:28pm | By: Carlee Causey

Sumar BeautiUniversity of Southern Mississippi junior Honors College scholar, Sumar Beauti, has been selected as the institution’s first Boren Scholar, a national award that provides funding for rigorous language study in world regions critical to U.S. interest.

A biomedical sciences major and Hattiesburg native, Beauti was selected as one of 218 scholars from an applicant pool of over 750 undergraduates from across the country.

“It feels a bit surreal since USM has never had a Boren Scholar before,” said Beauti. “It feels like a ton of hard work has paid off.”

Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) and provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. Boren Scholars and Fellows study throughout the world, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Beauti plans to study Arabic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in hopes of becoming a physician-scientist collaborating with other countries to advance medical practices and close healthcare disparities in under-served communities all over the globe.

“My parents are immigrants from Palestine. My parents grew up in rough conditions and came to the U.S. to give their children a better life,” Beauti said. “After visiting and seeing the conflict and struggle in the region firsthand, it prompted me to strive to learn Arabic so I can better the lives of my people and promote peace between regions through science.”

Beauti is no stranger to international study, as a recipient of the Gilman International Scholarship, she spent the spring 2019 semester in Exeter, England through USM’s exchange program. She is an active leader on campus and in the community. She serves as president of the Muslim Student Association, co-founder of the Honors College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, a peer tutor for the Trio Student Support Services, and a Luckyday Citizenship Scholar.

An Oak Grove High School graduate, Beauti’s research career began her senior year in USM’s Shelby Freland Thames Polymer Science Research Center as part of the American Chemical Society’s SEED program. Now, she is a member of Dr. Shahid Karim’s research group investigating the Red Meat Allergy for her Senior Honors thesis.

Boren Scholars must identify how their study abroad programs or overseas projects, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security. Boren Awards alumni are committed to public service, working in positions critical to U.S. national security throughout the Federal Government, including the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and USAID.

Beauti plans to attend medical school after fulfilling her Boren government service requirement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Program as a full-time research intern.

Students interested in applying for the Boren Awards or other nationally competitive scholarships should contact Carlee Causey at 601.266.4263 or