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2011 Scholars

Nadia El-Hamdi

Nadia El-Hamdi

David and Terri Mendez UH Tier One Scholarship Endowment

Classification: Junior
Graduation Year: 2015
College: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Major: Chemistry
High School: James Bowie High School
Hometown: Austin, TX

About Me

In June, I graduated Valedictorian of James Bowie High School’s Class of 2011. I was a member of the swim team for three years, and as a senior, I was a captain. Each year, I competed with the team at District Champs, Regionals and State. Throughout high school, I was also a member of USA Swimming (club), National Honors Society and Spanish Honors Society. However, without my supportive family, none of that would have been possible. My parents, Mohamed and Andrea, are two of the most motivational and influential people in my life, and I strive to be a role model for my little brother, Malik. Spending time with them is important to me, whether it means watching movies or going to the park. Other activities I enjoy include drawing, painting, listening to music and Thai kickboxing.

Campus and Community Involvement

In January of this year, I volunteered as a judge for the Mars Rover Celebration. It was so rewarding to see middle school and elementary school children enthusiastic about science. I was so lucky to be able to provide encouragement and feedback to our young community. I have also participated in two 5K fundraisers on campus and volunteered at the Special Olympics hosted by the U of H Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. I am also a member of the American Chemical Society, and I cannot wait for more opportunities to give back to the community.

Awards and Honors

I am a 2011 National Merit Finalist, and as a senior in high school, I was a recipient of my high school’s most prestigious award, the Bowie’s “Who’s Who” Award.  I also received the Austin Optimist Club’s TexAnne Award, and I achieved 2nd Place in the Seton-Sponsored Heritage Council Award for Academic Excellence.  In 2009, I won 1st Place at the Regional Science Fair, and in 2008, I came in 2nd Place for the Junior Federal Duck Stamp Design Contest.  I earned a Varsity letter in Swimming each year, and I earned a Varsity letter in Academic Achievement (for being in the top 5% of my class).  I was also given honors for Outstanding Achievement in English and Spanish.

Study Abroad

 As I learn and explore foreign languages and different cultures at the University of Houston, I look forward to immersing myself in a culture by studying abroad!


I am thrilled to have joined the Miljanić group, and I greatly look forward to learning from Dr. Miljanić and his associates. As I gain experience here, I hope to also make some contributions of my own. This opportunity is especially exciting to me because U of H is a Tier One Research University!

Future Endeavors

I plan to continue giving back to the community, and I hope to largely influence it in a positive way. I am looking forward to continuing my education, continuing research, and pursuing a Ph.D. I hope to one day make my own discoveries that can help people all over the world.