Four Inspiring Young Women from Turkey are Recipients of the Prestigious
Sena Eken Schieber Economics Award
New York, NY (April 30th, 2021) – Turkish Philanthropy Funds is proud to announce the 2021 Sena Eken Schieber Economics Award recipients: Bihter Erbaş, Müge Önder, Nezihat Bengisu Kaynar, and Serra Güllü.
The Sena Eken Schieber Economics Award continues to be the only award earmarked for young women from Turkey to obtain graduate degrees in the field of Economics in the United States. “We have an exceptional group of highly motivated, talented, and forward-looking young women, all of whom are focused on achieving their full potentials in order to maximize their contributions to society. I am proud to assist them in enhancing their personal and professional skills in making the world a better place for everyone. Sena would have been very pleased for these impressive young women to have the educational and cultural opportunities that so benefited her,” says Dr. George Schieber, Sena’s husband, and a former World Bank Economist.
Each year at TPF, we get to meet new inspiring young women who are excited to embark on furthering their education and careers. “This year’s scholarship recipients are four incredible young women who amazed us all with their maturity, intelligence, and standing in life. Theirs are stories of opportunity, resilience, persistence, and hope. Once again, we couldn’t be more proud to see that through the Sena Eken Schieber Award, TPF creates more inclusion and impacts lives in significant ways. We are grateful to George Schieber for his generous contribution that enables TPF to be doing this work,” says Dr. Senay Ataselim-Yilmaz, TPF’s Executive Director.
The scholarship is designed to encourage and support outstanding female students with financial challenges to pursue graduate degrees in Economics in the U.S. Sena Eken Schieber has been a role model that these aspiring economists look up to. Bihter Erbaş who will be studying at the University of Chicago noted how she regards “this scholarship not only as a great honor, but also a commitment to put my skills, experience, and knowledge to the best use.” Serra Güllü, getting ready for a Master’s at the Duke University, expressing her gratitude says, “It is not enough for me to put into words how grateful and honored I am to be awarded this scholarship that will completely change my life.” Nezihat Bengisu Kaynar, sharing her excitement to have the opportunity to study at Columbia University noted how the scholarship provided “unique support for many female economist students like me to achieve their dreams and ideals.” Emphasizing the equal opportunity provided by the award, Müge Önder who will be studying at Boston University says “it would have been just a dream for me to study at one of the best schools in the U.S. if I were not supported by this award.”
The Sena Eken Schieber Economics Award is offered to dedicated female students on the basis of personal commitment, academic merit, professional and personal references, and financial need after a competitive selection process each year. Sena’s niece, Esra Krause, who serves on the selection committee commented on this year’s recipients, “Impressive! That’s the word I would use to describe this year’s scholarship recipients. Their desire to learn, grow and better themselves is remarkable, and I am so glad that this scholarship allows them the opportunity to make their wishes come true. Congratulations!”
TPF Board Member and member of the Sena Eken Schieber Scholarship selection committee, Dr. Nakiye Boyacıgiller noted that the selection process inspires her every year, “Scholarships change lives. As I looked into the eyes of several of our outstanding candidates, I couldn’t help but think about my late father, Oğuz Avdan. An intelligent and industrious student of modest means in 1937 who received a full scholarship to study in the U.S., graduating to become one of Turkey’s first petroleum engineers. I have no doubt but that this changed not only his future but that of our entire extended family as well.”
About The Sena Eken Schieber Economics Award and Sena Eken Schieber
The Sena Eken Schieber Economics Award is supported by the Eken Schieber Scholarship Fund at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. The fund was established by Sena’s husband, George Schieber, to celebrate Sena Eken Schieber’s life, and continue her legacy as a pioneering international civil servant, Turkish Government official, economist, and role model for many women. Sena was not only a highly competent, hard-working, and successful professional, but also a wonderful wife, a caring and dedicated sister, aunt, family member, friend, and mentor. She was known as an inspirational leader who lived life to the fullest. The scholarship supports young women from Turkey from low-income families to pursue graduate degrees in economics in the United States. The Sena Eken Schieber Scholarship program was established in 2015 and to date has funded some 10 very deserving young Turkish women for master’s degrees and Ph.Ds in accredited U.S. graduate economics programs including the University of Chicago, Columbia, and Duke University.
About Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF)
Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) is the leading U.S. community foundation for high-impact social investments dedicated to Turkish and Turkish-American communities. Since 2007, TPF has mobilized over $46M and has invested over $25M in grants with partners focused on addressing economic, education, gender equality, social and environmental needs in Turkey and around the world. By providing support to realize the philanthropic vision of individuals, families, and corporations, TPF donors and partners have reached thousands of families and directly funded over 200 projects.
For more information about the application process for the 2022 Award cycle or other philanthropic accounts at TPF, please visit our website, www.tpfund.org.