AAFSW Is Pleased to Announce the Winners of Our 2017 Merit Scholarships

Joshua Smith Sreen, Winner of the Merit Scholarship for College Students ($2,000)

The son of Poonam and John Smith-Sreen, Joshua Smith-Sreen is a rising junior at Boston University, where he is a part of the Kilachand Honors College and the Trustee Scholars Program. At university, Joshua majors in Biology, minors in International Relations, and is interested in pursuing a career in global public health. Joshua grew up surrounded by the Foreign Service, with both of his parents being long-time employees at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). He was born in Gabon, then moved on to India, Jordan, Sri Lanka and finally, Kenya, where he graduated from high school at the International School of Kenya. Outside of the classroom, Joshua assists in researching HIV infection at the Boston Medical Center, is the president of the College of Arts and Sciences Student Government, the vice president of the Boston University International Society, and an active member of his professional foreign service & international business fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon. This summer, Joshua is splitting his time between an internship at USAID’s Global Health Bureau in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a research opportunity at George Washington University’s Bosque Lab, where he will be assisting in their research of HIV latency mechanisms.



Rachel Oghenetefe Edwards, Winner of the Merit Scholarship for College Students ($2,000)

The daughter of Mary and Paul Edwards, Rachel Oghenetefe Edwards is a rising sophomore student at Boston University, majoring in Sociology with a double minor in African American Studies and English. She is currently a research assistant at BU’s School of Education where she studies the intersection between media literacy and the construction of black girls’ self-identity. Additionally, she works as a media assistant for BU’s African American Studies Program, implementing and coordinating different outreach events. In her free time, Rachel loves to dance while trying not to pull a muscle laughing too hard (an impossible feat).






Katherine Mauldin, Winner of the Judy Felt Memorial Volunteerism Scholarship ($1,000)

The daughter of Jimmy Ray and Jennifer Mauldin, Katherine Mauldin is a junior at the University of Alabama. She is majoring in International Studies, minoring in Arabic Language and Culture from New College and in Social Innovation and Leadership from the Honors College. Due to her experience as a missionary kid and a diplomat’s daughter, Katherine does not have one hometown but ten.  At the moment, she considers home as Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where next fall the three Mauldin sisters will be attending The University, and Accra, Ghana, where her parents are currently posted at the U.S. Embassy. Katherine serves The University through her roles as a resident advisor for Presidential Village II, as a student intern for the 57 Miles: Perry County Partnership, and as an Honors College Ambassador.  Katherine Mauldin is thankful for the unique lifestyle graciously given to her by God, her parents, and the U.S. Department of State.






Samir Fierro, winner of Best Essay Award ($500)

The son of Jose M. and Sharon J. Fierro, Samir Fierro is a sophomore at Arizona State University studying Biophysics with the goal of working in the medical profession. He has a passion for all sciences and currently hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon. He was born in Toluca, Mexico and moved to the U.S. as a young child. He attended Millennium High School in Goodyear, Arizona where he was involved in Track and Field, NHS, Scholastic Bowl, and graduated top of his class. His interests include technology, sports, and current events. In his spare time, Samir likes to stay active, enjoy nature, and spend time with friends. He is currently involved in extracurricular activities such as the Academic Bowl, Society of Physics Students, and the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, a program where he can work at the community level to mentor youth in order to provide moral guidance at a crucial developmental age.