St. John’s Alumna Wins Prestigious Scholarship

Donya Nasser headshot
May 12, 2021

Donya Nasser ’15C, who graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University as a Government and Politics major, was recently selected as a member of the 2021 cohort of the highly competitive Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars is an international, graduate-level, scholarship program for study at Stanford University, in Stanford, CA. Established in 2016, the program prepares students to take leadership roles in finding creative solutions to complex global issues. Scholars receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford and have additional opportunities for leadership training, mentorship, and experiential learning across multiple disciplines.

Ms. Nasser is among 76 new scholars from 26 countries who are pursuing degrees in 37 programs across all seven of Stanford’s graduate schools. The scholars earned undergraduate degrees at 16 international and 32 US institutions. Ms. Nasser also completed a Master of Arts degree in Iranian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 2017, as a recipient of both the John Loiello and Kamran Djam Scholarships.

"Donya's accomplishment in winning this scholarship brings great honor to St. John's because it ranks among the top five most competitive and prestigious awards attained in the history of our University," said Konrad T. Tuchscherer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of History; Founding Director, Africana Studies Program; and Director of External Scholarships and Fellowships.

A proud Iranian American from Orlando, FL, Ms. Nasser is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Health Policy at Stanford School of Medicine. She is also Associate Director, Youth Engagement and Equity, at the Center for the Developing Adolescent, in Washington, DC. Ms. Nasser is responsible for assisting the center in translating adolescent research through communications, advocacy, and policy efforts.

Ms. Nasser amassed numerous honors and fellowships while at St. John’s, such as being named the first St. John’s student to receive the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Accomplishments Ms. Nasser achieved after graduation from St. John’s include receiving the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, as well as being named a US Youth Observer to the United Nations.