Alumni Accolades August 2015
1990 Scholar Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) is featured in a Q&A in Coca-Cola Journey. Ben was elected last November after serving as president of Midland University, a 130-year-old Lutheran college he steered out of bankruptcy to become one of the fastest-growing higher education institutions in the country by the time of his departure.
Said Ben, “I remember my interview during the selection weekend very clearly. Five interviewers, bright lights and a lot of questions that challenged us not to give predictable answers about wanting to save the world. I remembered and appreciated the rigor of those questions in the following years. It’s been great staying connected to the Scholars Foundation, and I was honored to serve on that same selection committee later.”
Raina Kadavil (2015) published her first book, “The Voice of Thunder,” a young adult fiction novel she describes as “a little bit like Game of Thrones crossed with Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Read more about the book and find it on Amazon.com.
Ahmad Shawwal (2015) took a photo with First Lady Michelle Obama after delivering remarks at a Reach Higher Champions of Change event in Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House on June 30, 2015. The event spotlighted innovative education practices.
Said Ahmad, “In her speech, she recognized the student leaders in the room. I stood up as she addressed us; however, I was the only one standing! She complemented me for displaying leadership, so I asked to take a picture with her, but I did not expect to receive one. After the event, I left the room and was suddenly escorted by staff to an area where Michelle Obama was waiting for me. I was star-struck. So, my first response was to run and give her a big hug! I’m almost certain that I broke protocol, but I was too excited to care! She was kind enough to speak to me for a few minutes. I thanked her for all the work she’s done for education reform and took pictures with her.”
Julian Plowden (2010) was interviewed on City NPR 90.1 WABE’s City Lights. Julian discussed several of his photos and his experience photographing #BlackLivesMatter protests.