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Press Release

Teresa Thomas

For immediate release:
July 28, 2006

Carnegie Mellon Alumnus Receives Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship

PITTSBURGH—Justin Hakuta, a 2004 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship that will fund his field study in the Philippines as part of the Fulbright exchange program. Sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright scholarship is awarded to exceptional graduate students, educators and professionals who travel abroad and further the program's goal of promoting greater understanding between cultures of the world.

The son of Ken and Maria Luisa of Washington, D.C., Hakuta earned a bachelor's degree in decision science with a minor in Spanish at Carnegie Mellon.

"Justin was one of the first students in our new major in decision science," said Baruch Fischhoff, Howard Heinz University Professor of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy. "As one of our program pioneers, he helped to shape the major through his strong performance and leadership. He has a passion for life and justice."

That passion prompted Hakuta to tutor inner-city children and volunteer at a Pittsburgh-area hospice while he was a student at Carnegie Mellon. He also believes it will shape his future.

"I am interested in pursuing a career in human rights investigation," he said. "The Fulbright scholarship will give me valuable hands-on experience in the field, as I will be conducting a study on human trafficking in the Philippines."

The Fulbright program was initially funded through war reparations after World War II, and the first scholars traveled to Europe in 1948. The exchange program was named for Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, who originally introduced the bill to Congress in 1945.

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