Miss Sanna Alas (2016)
Growing up a child of immigrants in the heart of Orange County, I was graced with the so-called hyphenated identity of a Muslim-Syrian-American. That hyphen, the moment of mediation between two seemingly disparate things, has served as the foundation for my academic interests and future aspirations. It fuels my passion for intersectional issues as an activist and advocate for educational and environmental justice in South Los Angeles. It has also fostered an intellectual curiosity that lead me to pursue a double major in Human Biology & Society and Comparative Literature at UCLA, where I was able to conduct research on health disparities while exploring the use of quantitative research methods in the Humanities. As a Gates Scholar, I hope to continue this narrative by pursuing an MPhil in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. My proposed research centers on the theme of translation; I situate this not only as a practice but also as a mediative process that has shaped the development and reification of certain historical, linguistic, and cultural legacies in science and medicine. As an aspiring activist and physician-scholar, I ultimately hope to employ this critical framework and the global network of the Gates Cambridge community in the development and practice of a more socially attuned and interdisciplinary medicine.