Sandra Wicks Lewis (Col ’72) and her husband, Lemuel (Col ’69, Darden ’72), know from experience that the value of a UVA education is beyond measure. Sandra and Lem have said that they owe their success to the hard work of their parents and grandparents—and to their UVA degrees. Their hope is that this scholarship will help future generations achieve their own successes.
Meet Jun Seok Bae (Col ’20) and Monica Abouelsaad (Col ’20), two of the first Lewis Bicentennial Scholarship recipients.
My future is wide open.
Jun Seok Bae is majoring in psychology and religious studies. He’s a research assistant at the Cognitive Aging Laboratory where his primary interests are mental illnesses and their relation to various cognitive processes. He plans to apply to medical school. Outside of class, he is president of the Hooligans, a UVA breakdancing crew, and he enjoys traveling to different cities for breakdancing events. He is grateful for the opportunity to study at UVA and experience life on Grounds. “As a first-generation college student in the process of getting my citizenship, this scholarship has been a critical factor in me being here at all,” he said.
“The most important gift you can give is for someone’s education.”
Monica Abouelsaad is a first-generation American citizen, the child of Egyptian immigrants. A Middle Eastern studies and biology double major, she wants to learn to write in Arabic so she can communicate with her family in Egypt. She’s also an intern at the Charlottesville Free Dental Clinic, where she works as a dental assistant and assists patients with language barriers. She plans to go to dental school after graduation. “I chose dentistry because it’s a profession where you can make an immediate impact on someone’s life,” she said. At UVA, she’s the president of the Coptic Orthodox Christian Club and is practicing the ancient art of belly dancing for an upcoming Middle Eastern showcase. She’s making the most of her time at UVA and is grateful for her scholarship.
“It is apparent from Jun’s and Monica’s activities and career plans that they have enjoyed their experience at UVA and will make significant contributions to society,” said Sandra Lewis. “We are gratified that they and the other Lewis Bicentennial Scholars were selected in its inaugural year. These students represent the academic excellence, character, and diversity that we had envisioned.”