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.