2019 Robert D. & Margaret A. Wark Memorial Scholarship
Biography: Seena Fakhimalizad is a 3rd year student at UCLA majoring in Economics and minoring in Global Studies. He was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado and is Iranian-American. His passion for studying the field of economics stems from a highly personal lens: Iran, the country of his parents and his second home, has suffered staggering hyperinflation, a rapidly devaluing currency, and limited private sector growth for many years. Since coming to LA, Seena has greatly enjoyed exploring the immense cultural diversity the city has to offer, especially with the presence of a large Iranian community in the area. He serves as Vice President of Iranian Student Group, where he oversees the planning of various cultural, social, and educational events to unite the Iranian-American student community, acquires funding for these events, and manages the finances for the organization. In addition to this role, Seena is a Lead Resident Assistant in Cedar Residential Plaza and the Treasurer and Funding Director for Middle Eastern Student Association. Outside of his academic and work commitments, Seena enjoys exercising and exploring the outdoors, spending time with friends, and trying new cuisines in the highly multicultural L.A. food scene.
Future Plans: Due to his personal experience witnessing the burden of sanctions on Iranian citizens as well as his belief in the power of economic policy in enacting beneficial change for the lives of ordinary individuals, Seena seeks to pursue a career that is at the intersection of international law and economics. He believes that the formation of resilient economies and positive economic interactions between various nations based on diplomacy would also allow for the preservation of a more interconnected and peaceful world.
What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am sincerely grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the Robert D. and Margaret A. Wark Memorial Scholarship. As an out-of-state student who struggles to afford the costly tuition at UCLA, the Wark Family’s incredibly generous award gives me greater peace of mind to focus on my academics and strive to excel in my courses to the best of my ability. Without the selfless philanthropy of individuals like the Wark Family, countless students would lack the ability to pursue their passions and make a beneficial difference in the world. For this reason, I am beyond honored to receive this award, and I hope to utilize their investment in me to similarly aid marginalized groups in my career.