Nooran Alhamdan ’20 is the daughter and granddaughter of Palestinian refugees. She has volunteered in refugee camps in Jordan and interned at the United Nations Population Fund Agency. This summer she will return to Jordan to conduct research on refugee identity in Palestinian refugee camps.
And those are just the highlights of her resume thus far. But it’s enough to understand why she was chosen as a Truman Scholar. Named for former President Harry S. Truman, the scholarship is awarded to undergraduates seeking a career in public service. Alhamdan is the only student in New Hampshire to receive a 2019 award and only the fourth student in UNH history.
“Getting a Truman Scholarship means that your chances of actually being able to give back to your community in a really big and impactful way in the future have greatly increased,” say Alhamdan, a resident of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
An analytical economics and political science major, Alhamdan was one of 60 students out of more than 600 applicants selected for the prestigious national award, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate studies in public service fields.
“It means so much to me, and it means so much to my family and our story. I’m a third-generation Palestinian refugee, and I definitely don’t know in their wildest dreams if they imagined that their grandkid or their daughter was going to receive a scholarship like this,” Alhamdan says.