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Political Science, Economics Graduate Earns Prestigious Urann Fellowship

Areeb Siddiqui, a May graduate in political science and economics at The University of Texas at Dallas, has received a prestigious fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi that will further his goal of becoming an attorney specializing in civil rights.

Areeb Siddiqui

Siddiqui, who earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science this spring, will use the Marcus L. Urann Fellowship toward tuition at Yale Law School. He is one of six graduate students across the U.S. to win a $20,000 Urann Fellowship, given to Phi Kappa Phi members entering their first year of graduate or professional study.

An alumnus of the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, Siddiqui is the fourth UT Dallas student to receive the Urann award. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi also awards 50 fellowships of $8,500 each and two at $35,000.

“Areeb exemplifies everything we want in a student. This is an outstanding recognition of his academic achievements and his commitment to using his knowledge and skills in the fields of law, politics and economics to better our diverse communities,” said Dr. Douglas Dow, associate dean of the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College and clinical professor of political science.

Each Phi Kappa Phi chapter is allowed to nominate just one candidate a year. Despite the stiff competition, UT Dallas students have received a fellowship each of the nine years the University has been a Phi Kappa Phi chapter member.

Siddiqui, who is a Muslim from the Dallas area, learned early the value of community support in achieving his academic goals. At the same time, he was also aware that some young people in South Dallas weren’t afforded the same opportunities.

“Segregation robs people of the beauty of community, both for those who are pushed out of opportunities and for the privileged who never get to know their neighbors. We grow from connecting with people who are very different from us,” he said.

“Areeb exemplifies everything we want in a student. This is an outstanding recognition of his academic achievements and his commitment to using his knowledge and skills in the fields of law, politics and economics to better our diverse communities.”

Dr. Douglas Dow, associate dean of the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College

At UT Dallas, a variety of academic experiences deepened Siddiqui’s passion for justice. He spent a semester working for the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., through the Bill Archer Fellowship Program for Undergraduates, where he participated in conversations about how to address economic inequality.

During an internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Siddiqui started reading about civil rights cases, segregation, financial discrimination, and redlining and racial zoning in Dallas. He became motivated to help engage other students at UT Dallas in issues that affect the surrounding community.

UT Dallas Phi Kappa Phi Fellows

2020: Areeb Siddiqui – Urann Fellow, Yale Law School

2019: Sydney Sherman – 1897 Award, Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology

2018: Hans Ajieren – Purdue University

2017: Nancy Fairbank – Urann Fellow, Harvard Law School

2016: Blake Eaton – Urann Fellow, University of Chicago Law School

2015: Raheel Ata – Stanford School of Medicine

2014: Kayla Klein – University of Michigan Medical School

2013: Dina Shahrokhi – Urann Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

2012: Emily Lichtenheld – Harvard Law School

Siddiqui helped organize the Dallas Urban Futures Series, which offers conferences on topics such as white flight, police brutality and cooperative economics. The series’ first summit in May 2019 drew about 350 students and individuals from across the city of Dallas and was followed by a fall summit on criminal justice, a youth conference in November and an online summit last spring.

Although he eventually would like to help craft urban policy, Siddiqui said he is eager to get courtroom experience first, defending individuals who have experienced financial and housing discrimination.

“I’m interested in fighting discrimination at national levels. That would be a legal battle I’d like to fight,” Siddiqui said.

He credited his mentors at UT Dallas for helping to guide his academic and career interests including Dow, Dr. Jennifer Holmes, professor of political science, public policy and political economy and dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; Dr. Timothy Bray, associate professor of practice of public policy and political economy and director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research; and Sara Mokuria, the institute’s associate director for leadership initiatives.

“Being a McDermott Scholar opened a lot of doors for me. Having had that privilege has made me think about how to increase that same access to others and how to give back to the community,” said Siddiqui, who graduated summa cum laude with Collegium V Honors.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu.