Scholar Class of 2020-2021

Nahin Khan

Nahin Khan

Biological Sciences, Scholar Class of 2020-2021

Bio

“From exposing me to a large variety of fields, showing me the power of passion in a Tartan and humbling me to the multidimensional talent here, Carnegie Mellon has changed me in ways I could have never imagined. CMU has convinced me of not just the power of education, but also the capability of humanity through interdisciplinary work. On top of that, the optimism of everyone here has made me hopeful about a bright technologically advanced future.”

Born and raised in various places around the world including Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia by parents originally from Pakistan, Nahin has had a unique upbringing that has allowed him to understand people from different cultures around the world. Having only been interested in the basic sciences and math during high school, Nahin applied to the Biological Sciences program at CMU in Qatar, where he would go on to develop further interest in a broader variety of fields, including computer science, psychology, and philosophy. Over time as his interests in communication with people from different cultures merged with his new-found interests for interdisciplinary learning, Nahin became inspired to bring change to his community in Qatar in various ways, including by founding the Thought Club which brings people of various backgrounds together to facilitate conversations. For his Fifth Year Project, Nahin hopes to raise awareness on the interdisciplinary field of computational biology in Qatar by developing an outreach program targeted at high school students. Nahin aims to continue communicating with society in a similar manner by becoming a professor one day and teaching generations of learners to come.

Rie Ohta

Rie Ohta

Computer Sciences, Scholar Class of 2020-2021

Bio

“In my time at Carnegie Mellon, I’ve found a community of people who are so deeply passionate about everything they do and love and support each other through thick and thin – they’ve taught me to become a better version of myself and to constantly take a step back to reflect and appreciate what I have around me. So much of my self-awareness and self-understanding has come from my experience as a student here, and I will be forever grateful for that."

As a computer science major who grew up in Silicon Valley, Rie came to Carnegie Mellon excited about the wide variety of academic and non-academic opportunities offered by the campus. What she has found at CMU exceeded her expectations – she has picked up a minor in psychology, taken a multitude of fascinating classes in areas she barely knew existed, and found multiple homes away from home through her Residential Education staff, as well as her a cappella group C#. While at Carnegie Mellon, Rie has gotten the opportunity to interact with people of a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds and hopes that her Fifth Year Scholar project will encourage the CMU community to connect and recognize our shared humanity.

Julia Scherb

Julia Scherb

Global Studies, Scholar Class of 2020-2021

Bio

"The best part about CMU is the people; I’ve found a home in the history department at Carnegie Mellon and cannot express the happiness and experience I’ve gained from my classmates and mentors. It is exciting to consider the possibilities of futures that CMU students and faculty could create with their kindness, intelligence, work ethic, and love for others. I hope to spend my fifth year at CMU learning more from my classmates and appreciating the opportunities available here."

A Pittsburgh native, Julia is majoring in global studies and pursuing dual minors in anthropology and ethics. In her fifth year, she plans to investigate the intersections of social design, ethics, biology, and history. Julia’s work examines student well-being and how to optimize human networks to bolster social resilience. Her fifth year project aims to foster intergenerational dialogue between those involved in CMU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and college students, inspired by Zimbabwe’s ‘Friendship Benches.’ Julia loves being involved in social impact work both on and off campus and is currently the Policy Director for the Roosevelt Institute CMU chapter, a position which enables her to connect with a myriad of CMU clubs and organizations. Julia is also engaged with the broader Pittsburgh community, particularly through her work on the issue of homelessness. Julia hopes that her studies in health, design, and social impact work as a Fifth Year Scholar will inform her intervention in the campus social ecosystem.

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Scholar Class of 2021-2022

Shahmeer Ahmad

Shahmeer Ahmad

Information Systems, Scholar Class of 2021-2022

Kai Huizenga

Kai Huizenga

Student Defined Major, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Scholar Class of 2021-2022

Bio

“Through TINA, I’ve strived to both support and advocate for an ever-growing community of students, staff, and faculty that have been underrepresented and underserved by outdated university systems. Through daring leadership, brave conversation, and vulnerable vertical communication, I know that CMU can develop truly phenomenal work.”

An undergraduate student, kai (they.them) is pursuing a Student Defined Major in Mediated Storytelling through Performance and Technology. Their academic journey at CMU has been winding, vibrant, confusing, and often terrifying. Yet, they relish each experience and have fallen in love with crafting category-defying identities from the scraps of the ‘boxes’ they’ve broken out of. Outside of the classroom, kai has been relentless in their pursuit of connection and justice. Professionally, they’ve taken every opportunity to work in Residence Life — as an RA and CA both for Residential Education during the school year and for Pre-College Programs during the summer. Since the spring of 2019, kai has been a community organizer and founding member for TINA (Trans, Intersex, Nonbinary Alliance), an organization that has become their most precious home at CMU. During the era of COVID, their student-activist ventures have continued to expand, including work in immigration and racial justice, competency-building education and awareness, and grassroots organizing in Pittsburgh. Through the Fifth Year Scholars Program, kai is jazzed to continue their advocacy work, develop and connect social justice networks, as well as build a platform dedicated to uplifting TINQ voices through documentary film and recording. With their whole heart and soul, kai believes in the power of collective voices, stories, and needs; by centering community in all the work they do, they aim to better serve those collectives.

 

Robin Kuo

Robin Kuo

Materials Science and Engineering, Scholar Class of 2021-2022

Bio

Robin grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and came to Carnegie Mellon looking for a very different home-away-from-home where she could have the freedom to explore and grow. She found just that at CMU, along with numerous outlets for creativity in academic contexts and other campus involvement alike. Robin has loved finding new ways to express herself through Dancers Symposium and CMU Cyphers, as well as learning what community, connection, and authenticity mean to her through the Charpie Scholars Program and Residential Education. In her time as a Resident Assistant and Community Advisor, Robin has had the opportunity to see the role that one-on-one connection plays in community building and identity. 

Robin's fifth year project is motivated by her experiences in ResEd and her love of learning languages. She aims to create heritage language learning resources that will contribute to a better understanding of CMU's linguistic landscape. Robin hopes that her project will allow students across campus to connect to each other on the basis of shared experiences while fostering an environment where students can better understand and find pride in their cultural identity through language.