Queens College Seniors Awarded International Fulbright Scholarships

— Phi Beta Kappa graduates will study and teach in Israel and Korea —

Investment Banking Executive, Venture Capitalist, and Financial Executive are this Year’s Queens College Annual Gala Honorees

Flushing, New York, June 1, 2022—Queens College seniors Michael Amrami and Zainab Farooqi have been awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships for study and teaching abroad. These awards, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, are made annually to U.S. citizens or nationals in a national competition. Scholarship recipients are selected for their outstanding academic records, excellent personal character, and mastery of a host country’s language. They are deemed likely to contribute to the program’s mission of fostering international understanding.

 “The Fulbright program offers some of the most highly desired—and most competitive—awards in the country,” says Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “Our graduates are well positioned to win them. We have extremely high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds across all the divisions of the college, and we provide a learning community where multiple languages and cultures are part of the everyday social fabric. Our students are equipped to work and thrive as global citizens.”

Both students attended Macaulay Honors College, CUNY at Queens College, where they are graduating summa cum laude and have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Michael Amrami earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while pursuing two majors—neuroscience-biology and psychology; three minors—chemistry, health sciences, and biology; and a concentration in honors in math and natural sciences. He ended his final semester with a host of prizes, including the Paul Klapper Award for scholarship and integrity, the college’s highest honor for graduating seniors.

Amrami received a Fulbright study/research award to seek a master’s in public health at the University of Haifa in Israel. A Great Neck resident, he hopes ultimately to become a physician and already has extensive experience as a medical assistant; he holds several certificates as an EMT and in other capacities. Since fall 2019, he has served as a surgical technician and researcher in the neurobiology laboratory at Queens College led by Maral Tajerian, where he holds the MARC U-STAR Biomedical Research Scholarship. His passion lies in developing public health initiatives to address connections between mental and physical health, for which he is hoping to learn from Israel’s patient-centered medical philosophy. At Haifa he plans to work with Israeli communities around Gaza that are experiencing conflict, and to work toward developing practical methods of treating mental disorders in underprivileged communities. “I am very much excited for this unbelievable opportunity,” says Amrami, “and am so glad for having the Queens College community behind me through the entire process.”

Zainab Farooqi earned a 3.9 grade-point average while majoring in psychology and media studies with minors in Korean and English, earning honors in her majors and Korean. Last year she received the Critical Language Scholarship Study Abroad award in Korean. A poet who is proficient in both Urdu and Hindi, she has served on the college’s student senate, on the board of the Pakistani Student Association, and in the Muslim Student Association. As a Jackson Heights resident, she also is active in the community, where she has worked on voter and small-business initiatives for Chhaya CDC, a non-profit serving south Asian and Indo-Caribbean residents of New York. During the last census, she conducted door-to-door interviews for the Census Bureau as an enumerator.

Farooqi received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award, which is sending her to Korea, where she will assist English-language teachers in the classroom. The award will cover her airfare and living expenses. Preparatory to this award, she was an assistant teacher of preschoolers for the Super Kickers Sports Corporation and a social media intern with the youth education team at the Wildlife Conservation Society. She currently teaches kindergarten at Al-Iman School in Jamaica, Queens. When she returns, she hopes to pursue a master’s in psychology and conduct research on child development. She is looking forward to experiencing “how different cultures approach different subject matters and how that affects the way the child learns,” and she is enthusiastic about the chance to live in Korea. “Living where I do really opened my eyes to different cultures and pathways and traditions. I’ve always loved that.”

“We are extremely proud of these two students and their embrace of cross-cultural learning,” says Wu. “We know they have a lot to offer the world.”

Maria Matteo

Media and College Relations