Mohammed Islam has recently become the College of Staten Island’s first student to be selected for a grant from the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), a partner of the Institute for International Education that provides scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population. FEA grants are highly competitive, with only about 5.86 percent of the applicant pool selected annually.
Commenting on receiving this honor, Mohammed said, “I feel honored and humbled by receiving this grant because it is a very competitive scholarship. The chances to fund my study abroad without FEA would have been very dim if they did not see me as a deserving candidate. I thank them for their generosity.”
Mohammed will use his grant to participate in a medical internship this summer at Fes University Hospital in Morocco, a program led by Prof. Abdeslem El Idrissi, which gives students the opportunity to shadow physicians within the Moroccan health care system, as well as conduct a presentation on the case studies they will encounter. Mohammed, an aspiring physician, will also use this opportunity to enhance his fluency in Arabic, as he plans to work with institutions such as Doctors Without Borders and the World Health Organization in the future.
Mohammed is a student of the Verrazano School Honors Program as well as the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and has participated extensively in College and community initiatives, including serving as President of CSI’s Muslim Student Association, where he seeks to foster a sense of campus community among his fellow students. He has also made a difference for residents of the New York City Housing Authority by participating in an Advisory Group on Smoking and Health, which resulted in the implementation of smoking cessation policies within their buildings. He has additionally interned at Staten Island University Hospital by attending to patients via the Emergency Room Ambassador Program, an opportunity obtained through the CUNY Service Corps. Through a demonstration of his strong work ethic and outstanding manner with patients, Mohammed was hired as a scribe last year, where he works under the guidance of Emergency Department physicians.
Commenting on his CSI experience and how it has affected his receipt of this award, Mohammed said, “My time at CSI has contributed to this achievement in various ways; I am a first-generation college student and navigating college is certainly a challenge for me. However, I have had the fortune to be surrounded by amazing professors and advisors who went above and beyond to guide and assist me throughout my collegiate career. I would like to give special thanks to Dr. El-Idrissi,-Biology Department, for always believing in me and granting me the chance to do research in his lab. He introduced me to the Summer Medical Internship/Research Programs in Morocco that students take part in every summer and has encouraged me to take part year after year. Another special person who helped contribute to this lofty accomplishment was Michele Callahan from the fellowship and scholarship office. She has also been a continuous gift who has guided me all along my undergraduate years and helped me revise my essays and prepared me for the interview! I am very grateful for all the love, support, and guidance I have received from both Michele and Dr. El-Idrissi, and the rest of CSI.”
After his studies in Morocco, Mohammed noted that, “I plan to finish my undergraduate degree (only Biology Minor left!), prepare for the Medical College Assessment Test, and start my application for medical school.”