Bill Streett with his four "Stanford Daughters"
Several years ago my wife Mary Sansalone was Provost and then Vice Chancellor at the Asian University for women (www.auw.edu) located in Chittagong - Bangladesh. When she left there in 2010 she arranged for four of her best students to transfer to Stanford University - on full scholarships - where they have done spectacularly well. We call them our "Stanford Daughters" and they spend their winter breaks and part of their summer vacations with us in Cincinnati. In the picture - the woman seated at the right is Professor Jess Barrow - from Atlanta - who was one of their teachers at the Asian University for Women. The four students are: seated - Parwana Fayyaz (Afghanistan) and Linta Reji (India) - and standing - Mahilini Kailaiyangirichelvam (Sri Lanka) on my right and Rosy Karna (Nepal) on my left.
In June of this year we attended the Stanford graduation of three of these students - Mahilini - Linta - and Rosy. Linta graduated with honors in environmental science - and was offered full PhD scholarships from Stanford - Cal Tech - and MIT. Mahilini and Rosy will return to Stanford this fall to work toward masters' degrees before applying to PhD programs elsewhere. Parwana - who will graduate next year - has her eye on Harvard and Yale for PhD work in Islamic Studies. She has earned almost straight A's at Stanford - and speaks four languages (Farsi [Persian] - Urdu [national language of Pakistan] - Pashto [a major language in Afghanistan] and English) - and will take a course in Intensive Arabic this fall. Having grown up in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the turmoil of the past two decades - and with knowledge of five languages - she is likely to have scholarship offers from many universities.
It has been a joy to watch the progress of these young women. In their part of the world most young girls are told that their role in life will be to bear children and serve their husbands - and that they don't need much education. Fortunately - these four had families that supported their aspirations - and when they were turned loose at Stanford they worked incredibly hard to soak up all the knowledge they can. All four will probably go on to earn PhD degrees at Stanford or elsewhere - and our hope is that they will then find academic jobs in this country. They are likely to have many opportunities.