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Hello! My name is Roaya Higazi, and I am a fourth year studying City and Regional Planning and minoring in Geography with a focus in Global Inequality. Throughout my time at Ohio State, I’ve had the honor of serving as the Student Body President of the Undergraduate Student Government, a member of the 114th class of SPHINX Senior Honorary and the Morrill Scholarship Program, and the executive leadership of the North and South Sudanese Association and Buckeyes First. I’ve also had the pleasure of working as a University Ambassador, First Year Experience Peer Leader, and an Academic Success Partner for the Young Scholars Program. These experiences gave me the communities that have supported and guided me throughout my college career, and led me to my passion for serving and advocating on behalf of students in higher education.
My journey to Ohio State starts with the Morrill Scholarship Program. Uncertain of my direction and what the future would hold, the program coordinators, friends and classmates I met through the program and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion have supported and inspired me in more ways than I ever imagined. One of the most difficult decisions I’ve made during my time at Ohio State was my decision to run for student body president. I questioned my fit for the role and feared the challenging campaign journey ahead, and especially feared what it would mean to put myself, as a Black Muslim woman, on such a large platform that I had never seen anyone like myself in before. I found encouragement and support from my program coordinators and friends I made through MSP, who reminded me of what my impact could be and the community I had behind me. If it wasn’t for their affirmation and belief in me, it’s very unlikely I would be in the role I’m in today. Through the Morrill Scholarship Program, I’ve also had the opportunity to take courses that expanded my understanding of social justice in educational spaces, participate in service trips that focused on educational equity and food insecurity, participate in leadership opportunities such as the Student Advisory Council and first-year mentorship program.
The Morrill Scholarship Program is an incubator for some of the most invigorating activists and advocates on Ohio State’s campus. This community has served as a safe and brave space for many marginalized students and those interested in social justice and has provided them with the tools to change our university for the better. Join me in supporting the Morrill Scholarship Program fund and investing in the students and staff who continue to make an impact in the world around them.