Sona Dadhania, a freshman in the materials science and engineering department at the University of Pennsylvania, is the recipient of the 2016 Science Ambassador Scholarship, funded by Cards Against Humanity. Dadhania, who is also a member of Penn Raas, a South Asian cultural dance team, was chosen from more than 1,000 applicants. The full-ride scholarship will pay for the Indian American student’s remaining three years at the university.
“I was so shocked and unprepared to hear that I won,” said Dadhania in a press release. “When I first heard, I was walking back into my TA’s office hours with a super big grin, and a couple of my friends noticed how excited I seemed, so I ended up blurting out what happened to everyone in the room.”
The scholarship was created by Cards Against Humanity after the success of their “Science Pack,” a $10 expansion pack. All proceeds fund the scholarship trust, which has raised over $850,000 so far.
“We created this scholarship to raise visibility of women in science,” said Jenn Bane, community director for Cards Against Humanity. “Several of us at Cards Against Humanity have backgrounds in science and technology, and underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is a glaring problem we’ve seen ourselves. That’s why we decided to both fund a woman’s undergraduate education and carve out a public space for women in science to discuss what they’re passionate about.”
Applications opened last fall and students were asked to submit personal videos explaining a topic in science.
“Sona submitted a creative, interesting video explaining nanotechnology,” Bane explained. “She drew really funny illustrations to convey her points. Her video immediately stood out to the board of judges as one of the best.”
An advisory board of over 60 women who hold advanced degrees and work professionally in the sciences ultimately selected Dadhania as the winner, according to the press release.
As the winner, she will continue to create videos about STEM, which will be hosted on Cards Against Humanity’s YouTube Channel.
Applications for the Science Ambassador Scholarship will be accepted again this fall at ScienceAmbassadorScholarship.org.
Watch Sona Dadhania's winning video explaining nanotechnology:
Watch Sona Dadhania's reaction to winning the 2016 Science Ambassador Scholarship: