Joan Johnson Graduate Fellowship Award

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve personal and economic empowerment. Soroptimist International of Los Angeles has given educational awards to outstanding women since 1947. The award of $3,500 is for the 2023-2024 academic year.

  • Enrollment in a graduate degree program at an accredited institution of higher education
  • Reside in Los Angeles County, California
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have faced obstacles in pursuing their education (e.g., poverty, racism, violence, teen pregnancy, former foster care, single parent, substance abuse disorder) and have career goals or volunteer experience that relate to the betterment of women and girls
  • Completed application and essay
  • Proof of enrollment in an accredited graduate program
  • Proof of residence in Los Angeles County (if graduate program is an online program not in LA County)
  • Two letters of reference from professors
  • A personal interview is required of finalists
  • Application and materials due by January 19, 2024
  • Finalists will be notified by January 29, 2024
  • A personal interview is required of finalists on Friday, February 9, 2024
  • Winner will be announced by February 16, 2024

See the story of the 2023 winner below

Nuha Khalfay

Nuha Khalfay

Nuha is in the fourth year of her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Prior to medical school, she completed her B.A in Public Health and French from UC Berkeley in 2019 and completed a public policy fellowship at the City and County of San Francisco. Her drive to improve access to healthcare regardless of race, religion, gender, income, or immigration status is what propelled her towards a career in medicine. She is passionate about reproductive justice and increasing access to healthcare for women.

Nuha is involved in research in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology at UCLA focused on cost disparities, pain control, and contraception expansion for women. She is also part of the leadership team for UCLA’s student run homeless clinic to ensure that our most vulnerable community members have access to resources and healthcare. Outside of medical school, she is involved in shaping local policy through her role as an elected council member for the North Westwood Neighborhood Council which advises the Los Angeles City Council.

After completing her degree, she plans to pursue a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. As a physician, in addition to clinical care, and community service, she plans to work extensively on health care policy to help design and implement legislation that protects and sustains our communities’ most vulnerable populations.