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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Academics & Research

Students awarded for public service


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Scholarship recipient Sarah Aimadeddine interned with Representative Jim Murphy during the 2013 legislative session in Austin.
Justin Tijerina/ The Daily Cougar

In honor of a political science professor, a scholarship has been awarded to three political science students.

The Richard Murray Endowed Scholarship, in recognition of professor Richard Murray and his more than 40 years of teaching and research at the University, was established in 2008. The scholarship is awarded to political science undergraduates at the University who excel academically and have made diligent efforts to serve the public.

Scholarship recipients were each awarded $1,250.

Sarah Aimadeddine, a political science and economics senior, has many accomplishments; among them are her role as a Hobby Fellow with the Hobby Center for Public Policy and her internship with Representative Jim Murphy for the 2013 legislative session in Austin. She also volunteered for many political campaigns.

“This scholarship is a true honor for me, as it means more to me than the monetary value holds,” Aimadeddine said. “It represents the accumulation of my hard work over the years and has become a stepping stone towards my future.”

For political science junior Matthew Mendoza, the scholarship is an affirmation of his dedication paying off.

Scholarship winner Matthew Mendoza volunteers with the United Way. Kayla Stewart/ The Daily Cougar

Scholarship recipient Matthew Mendoza volunteers with the United Way.
Kayla Stewart/ The Daily Cougar

“I believe that my diligence in the classroom was reinforced with my two extracurricular activities. I am the vice president for Phi Alpha Delta, Pre-Law at the University. I am also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society,” said Mendoza.

Political science senior Miriah Soliz also has plans to attend law school with a focus on assisting women and children who have been in abusive homes and hopes to establish a nonprofit organization to aid in her endeavors.

“The Richard Murray Scholarship means that I have someone who believes in me and who wants me to succeed, and that’s very meaningful, to know you have a supporter,” Soliz said.

Miriah Soliz hopes to establish a non-profit organization. Fernando Castaldi/ The Daily Cougar

Scholarship recipient Miriah Soliz hopes to establish a non-profit organization.
Fernando Castaldi/ The Daily Cougar

Richard Murray has been involved in establishing the UH Hobby Center for Public Policy in 1981, served as its director from 1996 to 2006, initiated a part-time government internship program in 1996 and is a sought-after commentator on local, state and national politics.

“With tuition, books and other college fees soaring, it is more and more important for students to avoid crushing student loan debts coming out of college,” Murray said. “These scholarships are one small step to ease that problem, but much more needs to be done at UH and other universities where many students do not have a lot of family resources to draw on in completing their degrees.”

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Correction: Sarah Aimadeddine’s experience has been updated with her most recent internship, and her direct quote was updated with an excerpt from the reporter’s interview with Sarah. The original was from her personal statement to the application committee.

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