FSB student named Harry S. Truman Scholar

April 2018

A Farmer School of Business student has been chosen as a Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner.

Junior human capital management major, Sara Al-Zubi, is the first Miami student to be awarded the scholarship since 2003. She’s also the only Ohio student to win the award this year.

“My backpack just got heavier,” she said. “The responsibility of the award is setting in. I’m way more excited, as much as I am nervous with this huge responsibility.”

Management professor, Dr. Megan Gerhardt, said she first met Al-Zubi in her honors introduction to management and leadership course last year.

“Her mind is always working overtime,” Gerhardt said. “I think she's very intellectually curious. She's very excited about a lot of things, which is, as a professor, exactly what you hope that you get in your classroom.”

Gerhardt was one of the people who wrote letters in support of Al-Zubi’s nomination, though she doesn’t think her help was needed.

“I just thought, ‘Why am I writing her a letter of recommendation? I should make her write me a letter of recommendation!’ she joked. “I knew she didn't need my help validating why she deserves any award, but I certainly learned a lot more about her experience and her passion.”

Al-Zubi’s passion centers on helping refugees. She’s planning to apply for the Washington Summer Institute and hopes to intern for the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The $30,000 scholarship will help toward her goal of attending medical school, as well as her desire to also earn a master’s degree in public health.

“The trauma is beyond what words can explain. And the mental health issues are a complex conversation that we need to be having. The current setup of refugee resettlement doesn’t necessarily prioritize mental health as an objective to fix,” Al-Zubi said.

Gerhardt said that Al-Zubi has worked hard to make and drive connections between her medical and managerial aspirations.

“She’s been very strategic, and making sure she feels prepared to go out and do what she really wants to do,” Gerhardt explained. “I wasn't remotely surprised that she won. I’m obviously thrilled for her and very proud, but not surprised at all.”

Learn more about Al-Zubi’s journey and plans for the future.

Sara Al-Zubi