Unique Zan Foundation
in Collaboration with
Iranian-American Scholarship Fund
"Unique Iranian Women in History: Drawing Inspiration from the Past"
At the Unique Zan Foundation our mission is to promote health, literacy and peace for women in and from the Middle East. As part of that effort, and in collaboration with the Iranian-American Scholarship Fund (www.iasfund.org), we are pleased to announce our third annual essay competition for Iranian women graduate and undergraduate students at major universities and accredited educational institutes in the United States. Applicants must be enrolled as students at the time of submission and at the time awards are announced. Awards will be made through the university where the student is enrolled. Students who are transitioning from undergraduate to graduate education are eligible. Non-students are not eligible to apply.
This year's essay theme is: "Unique Iranian Women in History: Drawing Inspiration from the Past"
Applicants' essays should focus on any unique and inspiring Iranian woman in history and how her life, and overcoming the challenges of her time, is relevant to today. The essay should address: the woman's life and work, the social environment in which she was raised, what was ground-breaking about her work, how she overcame obstacles to forge new pathways relevant not only to women but also to others in her field, how she provides inspiration to women today, and how she also provides inspiration to the author, herself. The "unique woman in Iranian history" can be a writer, poet, musician/singer, physician, scientist, scholar, politician, artist, activist, or any other profession of the author's choosing, but she must be a prominent figure in her field. The author must also demonstrate detailed knowledge of her subjects' work; for example, if choosing a poet include her poetry in the essay and discuss its relevance to both then and now. The "unique woman in Iranian history" must be someone who is not currently living, so Forough Farokhzad is fine but Shirin Ebadi is not.
Essays should be between 5000 and 6000 words (approximately 16-18 pages, double spaced, 12 point "Times New Roman" font, with 1.5 inch margins), and be stapled in the upper left-hand corner. Report binders should not be used. Only the title page and first page of the essay should contain the author's name. All other pages must be numbered in the lower right hand corner and contain first and last initial only in the upper right header.
While higher grade point average will be considered a bonus, the main emphasis is on applicants who exhibit exceptional writing skills and a compelling story. A copy of recent transcripts should be included with your essay. Essays should not have been previously published in any other publication or on the internet, but must be of publishable quality. Unique Zan Foundation will retain first rights of refusal for publication, but publication is not guaranteed. All submissions become the property of Unique Zan Foundation.
These essays will be reviewed by a qualified panel of academic experts. Awards will be given by The Unique Zan Foundation through the Iranian-American Scholarship Fund in the following amounts:
First Place: $5,000
Second Place: $3,000
Third Place: $2,000
All applications must include:
- Four hard copies of your essay in proper format,
- A brief cover-letter with name, contact information (including email and telephone), university attending, and explaining course of study and why applying for this award,
- One letter of recommendation from professor,
- One copy of recent college transcripts.
- One copy of essay and cover-letter sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be post-marked by May 1, 2010 and sent to the following address:
Unique Zan Foundation
PO Box 1257
Menlo Park, CA 94026
Announcements will be made in September-October, 2010. Feel free to also visit our website: www.uniquezanfoundation.org.
1. Sara Saljoughi--University of Minnesota,
2. Allia Homayoun--UC San Diego, Dept. of Literature,
3. Sahar Zomorodi--American University, Washington College of Law.
Unique Zan Foundation and the Iranian American Scholarship Fund are pleased to announce the winners of this year's 5000 word essay competition. This competition is for Iranian women graduate and undergraduate students attending accredited educational institutions in the United States. The 2009 essay theme was: "Overcoming Challenges and Promoting Change."
Students' essays included information about themselves, the challenges they have had to overcome to reach their goals, what circumstances led them to where they are now, and their chosen career/educational path. A major component of this essay was also to include how the student works to give back to their community or help others through some form of social activism or volunteer work. All of the applicants demonstrated high levels of commitment to the welfare of others. What an inspiring group of young women!
The essays were reviewed by a qualified panel of academic experts chosen by UZF. The $10,000 allocated by the Unique Zan Foundation for the first to third place winners will be awarded by the Iranian-American Scholarship Fund to the following winners:
First Place: Pouneh Aravand, Yale Law School
Second Place: Maryam Khatami, UC Berkeley, School of Social Welfare
Third Place: Tala Mohebi, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication, Public Diplomacy
Honorable Mention: Sara Rezvanpour, JD Candidate, UC Berkeley School of Law
Thank you to all of the entrants who shared their stories with us, and to IASF for their help in making this award possible.
Iranian-American Scholarship Fund in Collaboration with Unique Zan Foundation Writing Scholarship Awards Announcement Writing Iranian "Herstory"
In 2007, the Unique Zan Foundation approached the Iranian-American Scholarship Foundation (iasf) , to collaborate in a writing scholarship award for women. The award was for a 5000 word essay competition, for Iranian women graduate and undergraduate students attending accredited educational institutes in the Unites States.
Applicants' essays included information about themselves, their chosen career/educational path, and how their mothers, grandmothers, and/or other inspirational women in their families influenced their lives. Applicants were to include details about their mothers' or grandmothers' stories of immigration, survival, and overcoming obstacles to rebuild their lives for themselves and their families. Applicants were also asked to include any relevant challenges in their own lives that they have had to overcome in order to reach their goals.
These essays were reviewed by a qualified panel of academic experts. The $10,000.00 award allocated by Unique Zan Foundation for the first to third place winners has been awarded by the Iranian-American Scholarship Fund to the following winners:
First Place: Javaaneh Pourkarim, University of Maryland
Second Place: Sepideh Mazloumi, San Francisco State University
Third Place: Taha Ebrahimi, University of Pittsburgh