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Two American University Alumni Win 2022 Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

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AU Alumni Freeman and Snead

Two American University alumni have been awarded the prestigious Knight-Hennessy Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Madison Freeman (AU SIS’16) of Austin, TX, and Shyheim Snead (AU SPA’18) of Bridgeport, CT, are among this year’s cohort of 70 Knight-Hennessy scholars, including students from 27 countries, who will work toward advanced degrees in 35 graduate degree programs across all seven of Stanford’s graduate schools.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars cultivates and supports a multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University and delivers engaging experiences that prepare graduates to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders who address complex challenges facing the world. Knight-Hennessy scholars participate in Stanford’s King Global Leadership Program and receive up to three years of financial support to pursue a graduate degree program in any of Stanford’s seven graduate schools.

“We are proud of Madison and Shyheim and their achievements as true changemakers,” said Paula Warrick, Senior Director, Office of Merit Awards at American University. “The contributions they have made during their time at American University – to their communities and beyond – attest to their individual excellence and the opportunities that AU provides. They are well-deserving of this honor.”

Freeman will study at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and hopes to earn a master’s degree in Environment and Resources at the Stanford’s new School of Sustainability. After graduating from AU, she worked in clean energy venture capital, served as a senior advisor on innovation to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and founded the New York chapter of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute.

“Meeting our greatest global challenges will require collaborative action and service-driven leadership,” said Freeman. “I am truly grateful to have received the Knight-Hennessy fellowship, which embodies this ethos, and I am excited to pursue an interdisciplinary program at Stanford to focus on scaling innovative climate solutions.”

Snead, a recipient of the Truman Scholarship, the American University President’s Award, and the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship, will work toward a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education. After graduating from AU, he managed the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance inaugural grant program, coordinating direct investments and technical assistance for 19 youth-serving organizations nationwide. 

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to join this visionary cohort of leaders from around the world,” said Snead. “My journey to this point has truly been a collective effort, and I am forever grateful to a village of family, mentors, colleagues, and friends. I hope to express my immense gratitude by leveraging this opportunity to lead a life and career dedicated to expanding access to opportunity.”

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops emerging leaders who have a strong multidisciplinary and multicultural perspective, a commitment to the greater good, and the tools needed to drive meaningful change. The King Global Leadership Program is a core part of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience and offers a wide range of workshops, lectures, projects, and experiences that complement scholars’ graduate school education and help them reach their leadership objectives. Scholars in the program are selected based on their demonstration of independence of thoughts, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset.

Profiles of all Knight-Hennessy Scholars are available here.