Auburn student and recent graduate named Gates Cambridge Scholarship finalists

Published: January 18, 2019
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An Auburn University senior and a recent graduate have been named finalists for the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to possibly pursue post-graduate studies at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.

Senior Mina Narayanan and 2017 graduate Josiah Brown will interview in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25-26 for 40 available scholarships. Narayanan and Brown are two of 90 students nationwide—out of an applicant pool of nearly 1,000—invited to interview.

Narayanan, from the city of Auburn, Alabama, is a senior in software engineering with a minor in political science. She is conducting research under the direction of Gerry Dozier, director of the Artificial Intelligence and Identity Research, or AI2R, Laboratory at Auburn, part of a seven-university team known as the Cyber Identity and Behavioral Analytics Research, or CIBAR. Her research seeks to develop automated systems that can identify malicious authors hiding behind multiple social media accounts.

Her achievements include being named a Goldwater Scholarship honorable mention; selected as the Outstanding Software Engineering Student; an intern at the Huntsville-based Dynetics Inc.; and a National Science Foundation undergraduate researcher in the School of Informatics at Indiana University. She serves as a Cupola Engineering Ambassador for Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, a student volunteer with Engineers without Borders and an IRS-certified SaveFirst Alabama tax assistance volunteer. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in international relations and politics.

Brown, from Ashland City, Tennessee, graduated in 2017 and is an AmeriCorps architectural fellow in Lakeside, Montana, where he is part of a team assisting in the design and overseeing construction of a community center. His achievements include being Auburn’s first recipient of the Aydelott Travel Award and Prize, for which he traveled to Chile, Sri Lanka, Germany and Spain and participated in low-income housing design and construction. He also traveled to Turkey where he studied interior architecture at Istanbul Technical University, and to New Zealand as an exchange student at Unitec Institute of Technology where he studied utopian societies and affordable housing.

He served as a Freedom by Design team leader in Birmingham and he participated in two semesters as an intern in Auburn’s Rural Studio, followed by an internship with Urban Studio. He was a photographer for the Glomerata, Auburn’s yearbook, a photojournalist and facilities council member with the Student Government Association, an ambassador for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction and a mentor with ACE, the Architecture, Construction, Engineering Mentor Program of America.

“It was a pleasure working with Mina and Josiah throughout the lengthy application process,” said Paul Harris, professor and chair of Auburn’s Department of Political Science. “They share a vision for life, what they intend to accomplish and how they want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Our Auburn Family can take a great deal of pride in the young scholar-leaders they have become.”

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship was established in 2000 by a donation of $210 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. The selection criteria include outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others.

Auburn has had three Gates-Cambridge Scholars since the program’s inception: Cyndee Carver-DeKlotz in 2002, David Harris in 2011 and Paul Bergen in 2013.

For more information about national prestigious scholarships at Auburn, contact the Honors College at honors@auburn.edu.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.