Tufts Students and Alum Receive Prestigious Scholarships

Three of 18 Luce Scholars nationally this year are Jumbos, and two students receive Barry Goldwater Scholarships

Three Tufts students and alumni have been named Luce Scholars for 2024-2025, picked by the Henry Luce Foundation to be among the 18 students nationally for the highly competitive scholarships. 

Additionally, two students received one-year Barry Goldwater Scholarships, which are awarded to pay for college tuition to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

The Luce Scholars Program is “an experiential fellowship program that offers emerging leaders immersive professional placement in Asia tailored to their interests and aspirations,” according to the foundation. The 13-month program begins in June, as the Luce Scholars spend two months in intensive language training before their professional placements working alongside Asian colleagues.

This year’s Luce Scholars are Roger Burtonpatel, E24, Saffiyah Coker, A24, and Warisha Siddiqui, A23. 

Burtonpatel is a double major in computer science and music, with a minor in Portuguese. As a participant in the Tufts 1+4 Bridge Year, he was a volunteer librarian and English teacher in Brazil, becoming fluent in Portuguese, before studying on campus. At Tufts, he has focused on programming languages, and is a teaching assistant in computer science. 

He also volunteers with JumboCode, Tufts’ service-oriented programming club, guiding student developers in their work for local nonprofits. He also is one of two recipients this year of the James Schmolze Award for Excellence in Computer Science, which is awarded annually to graduating seniors.

Coker will graduate in May with a double major in economics and international relations. She spent her junior year abroad, first studying in Accra, Ghana, for a semester and then attending the School of Oriental and African Studies in London for a semester. In Ghana, she did research on the livelihoods of female porters in Accra’s open-air markets, which spurred her interest in human-centered research. 

As a member of the Tisch Scholars Leadership Development Program, Coker interned at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the Massachusetts Voter Table, focusing on how law and advocacy can shape policy for marginalized groups. She also collaborated with the Africana Center to create the Black Women’s Empowerment Conference.

Siddiqui, who graduated in 2023 with a degree in international relations, is a research data analyst at Arab Barometer, a nonpartisan research network that conducts public opinion surveys in the Middle East and North Africa. She helps do survey programming, data management, and data visualization creation in Arabic and English for the organization.

At Tufts, she focused on the politics and economy of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, as well as studying Arabic. In addition, she was a student worker for the University Chaplaincy, promoting interfaith dialogue and events on campus. Siddiqui, a Pakistani American born and raised in New York City, also volunteered with the Tufts South Asian Political Action Community.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship recipients are Carly Siegel, A25, and Benjamin Tibbetts, A25.

Siegel is a biology major who has worked with Mitch McVey, professor of biology, and former Tufts President Anthony Monaco, also a biologist, on DNA anomalies in fruit flies. She hopes to pursue a graduate career in molecular biology so she can conduct research full time and have her own lab. 

Tibbetts is a junior biopsychology major and a recent transfer to Tufts from Case Western Reserve University. Since his arrival at Tufts, he has been conducting research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and is hoping to pursue a career in neurobiology.

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