Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Sabrina Shah 2013Sabrina Shah intends to create a safe and healthy future for developing children. With the financial assistance of a $3,000 Jackson Casey Fund/ThanksUSA scholarship, Sabrina is completing her final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Since 2009, Sabrina has received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $12,000. In just a few months, she will earn degrees in both Psychology and Media & Communication Studies.


Sabrina’s interest in psychology began early. She often read articles or watched videos that focused on the subject. When she enrolled in an AP Psychology class in high school, Sabrina realized that she wasn’t merely learning facts; she truly understood and enjoyed every psychology lesson that was being taught.

After exploring several disciplines, Sabrina decided to focus on developmental psychology. Even as a teen, she was starting to realize that “troubled” students were the result of their environment.

Kinza & Sabrina Shah

Kinza & Sabrina Shah

Sabrina is most interested in combining her majors to study the effects of media on the social development of children. Through her studies and research, she has realized that media can be used to promote focus and learning in the classroom.

One of Sabrina’s most fascinating research projects involved pediatric cancer patients. Her team created virtual reality helmets that patients wore during treatments. Watching positive imagery produced a calming effect that distracted the young children during painful or scary treatments. Sabrina believes that the use of such media can actually alleviate or prevent psychological trauma.

Though she is always eager to experiment with, and learn from, different fields of psychology, Sabrina reports that she always returns to developmental psychology. Like most enthusiastic students, Sabrina belongs to groups and clubs that enhance her learning experience. She is member of the UMBC Philosophy Club and the Psychology Honors Society (Psi Chi), and has participated in the Model UN since high school.

Besides study related activities, Sabrina devotes much of her time to charitable organizations. She is most involved with Challah for Hunger, which raises funds to fight hunger and poverty through the sale of homemade challah bread.

As she nears graduation, Sabrina is preparing to continue her education, possibly at Cornell University, with the intention of earning her PhD in Developmental Psychology. With such dedication to both her major field of study and helping others through her charitable work, Sabrina is likely to impact many lives.

I think it’s important to note that Sabrina is not the only successful collegiate in her family. In 2006, her older brother, Zain, received a $5,000 ThanksUSA scholarship for his studies at Brooklyn College. Zain is now pursuing a career in computer engineering. Younger sister, Kinza, is off to a great start at Towson University where she is majoring in Speech Pathology.

Sabrina, her mother Tasneem, and sister Kinza

Sabrina, her mother Tasneem, and sister Kinza

As Sabrina prepares for graduate school, Kinza is preparing to apply for a 2013-2014 ThanksUSA scholarship. Applications will be accepted between April 1 and May 15, 2013, and potential applicants are encouraged to register for a reminder.

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With the assistance of a $3,000 Blavatnik Family Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Faith  Hauversburk is pursuing double majors in economics and philosophy at John Hopkins University. With her husband deployed to South Korea, the newlywed Air Force spouse has remained committed to her studies at JHU knowing that her education will lead to a better future for her family.

Faith has always held mathematical interests and knew that she would enjoy working in the field of finance. She explains that she originally planned to major in applied mathematics because, “I felt it was a more flexible and powerful major, one which would better enable me to get a job.”

But Faith soon realized that she was learning most formulations and theories on her own. To optimize her college experience, she changed her major to economics and is quite satisfied with the results. “I felt economics would be more interesting, especially since I would better be able to understand the current economic situation, while also incorporating financial mathematics,” she adds.

Although Faith is dedicated to pursuing her economics degree to prepare for a future career, she also possesses a strong spiritual desire to study philosophy. She explains, “I think that the most important thing in life is to learn how best to live, and one gains this through self-understanding and through understanding of the world. Philosophy, or love of wisdom, is about understanding yourself and the world in a deeper, insightful way.”

To compliment her studies, Faith attends meetings of the campus philosophy group, Prometheus, and is involved in a Christian apologetics group. Faith explains, “We seek to defend the Christian faith with rationality.” She also volunteers to prepare and serve meals for area residents in need.

Faith is committed to graduating from JHU with honors and two undergraduate degrees. She is maintaining an impressive GPA and is gradually extending her campus involvement. Finances are always a concern for the Hauversburks and Faith explains, “Receiving the Blavatnik Family Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship has allowed me to feel more relaxed, to feel less stressful. School is stressful enough on its own! With my scholarship, I can shift my worries from finances and focus my attention on schoolwork instead.”

The sacrifices of military families are often difficult for civilians to understand or to relate to. Since Faith and her husband, Senior Airman Daniel Hauversburk, Jr, U.S. Air Force, are thousands of miles away from each other, I asked Faith to share a little about that experience.

Daniel and Faith Hauversburk, Jeju Island


“My husband and I, despite having only been married for a year, are very used to being apart, even prior to our marriage. The longest we have been together day by day is about a month. Because of this, I think it is easier on us to deal with the distance, especially because we are both independent people who have dreams and goals of our own.

We support each other by encouraging each other, by respecting and being understanding of each other when we cannot give each other much time, and by knowing that our time apart will mean a better life for us in the future. Above all, we remain best friends, and treat each other well.”



Thank you, Faith, for sharing with our Scholarship News readers. The ThanksUSA team is proud to be a part of Faith’s educational journey. We encourage all college-bound military spouses and dependent children to apply for the 2012 ThanksUSA Scholarships. Applications will be accepted from April 1, 2012, through May 15, 2012. You can sign up for an email reminder here and if you have any questions, please leave a comment or contact me directly at sherrykoch@thanksusa.org.

We close this week’s blog with a few words from Faith thanking the Blavatnik Family Foundation for their support of ThanksUSA:

“As a selected recipient, I am extremely grateful for the support towards my education. I, and many others, appreciate what you do for military dependents worldwide. Thank you for all that you do. You are giving me the chance to live out the American dream.”

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With only 28 schools of Veterinarian Medicine in the United States, interested students must be academically competitive and stand out among their peers. This week’s featured scholar, Ashley Wagner, is diligently completing her Veterinarian Medicine prerequisites at North Carolina State University. Carrying dual majors in Zoology and Philosophy, Ashley received a $3000 Col. Abraham M Ehrlich/ThanksUSA Scholarship for the 2009/2010 academic year.

Ashley Wagner


Though she is the daughter of career Marine, Ashley explains that her “Brat” experience is different from most: “I am a bit of an abnormal military child, since I was tossed into the lifestyle at a later age than most. My father joined the Marines shortly after I turned fourteen and within a year and a half I was whisked from Houston, TX, to the small town of Hubert, North Carolina. I like to joke that Hubert is the outskirt town of an outskirt town and I experienced quite a bit of culture shock moving from the fourth-largest city in the U.S. to a small town in the South!”



Ashley has still faced many of the stresses of military life. Her father has been deployed on combat tours and training missions for the majority of his Marine Corps service. She adds, “While I have not had to deal with as many moves as others, there has been a dynamic shift in the family. We welcomed my baby brother into our family shortly after my father joined, so my mother has been doing the job of both parents for quite a while. Add in my starting college and we just had some very tumultuous years that are definitely exacerbated by the near-constant deployments.”

Ashley appreciates her father’s service to our country. She also appreciates the generosity of those who make ThanksUSA possible, saying, “ThanksUSA is an amazing organization, and I am eternally thankful for all scholarship money I receive for my education. With the aid of scholarships, I have managed to come this far in my college career without any student loans. This frees my time to focus on my career goals.”

Indeed, Ashley has set very high goals for herself. NCSU has an Interdisciplinary Studies degree program which allows students to design and pursue their own major. Ashley is designing a degree program that will focus on both animal sciences and ethics. This path will help her fulfill her veterinary requirements while allowing her to enjoy courses that truly peak her interest. She explains, “If all goes well, I’ll be retaining my Zoology degree, and switching my Philosophy for the Interdisciplinary studies degree.”

Ashley is so passionate about becoming a Veterinarian, that she maintains a very heavy academic load. On top of her 19 credit hours, Ashley also volunteers with many charitable organizations like the Museum of Natural Science and Operation Catnip, a feral cat management group. NCSU has a very highly ranked Veterinarian school that Ashley hopes to attend. If her current drive is any indication, she will surely become one of their high-ranking Veterinarian students in a few years. On behalf of the entire ThanksUSA team, keep up the great work, Ashley!

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