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Two Princeton seniors, one Oxford student named 2022 Sachs Scholars

<h5>Nathnael Mengistie ’22 and Sydney Hughes ’22 (left to right), the two Princeton recipients of the Sachs Scholarship</h5>
<h6>Photos courtesy of Nathnael Mengistie and Sydney Hughes</h6>
Nathnael Mengistie ’22 and Sydney Hughes ’22 (left to right), the two Princeton recipients of the Sachs Scholarship
Photos courtesy of Nathnael Mengistie and Sydney Hughes

Princeton seniors Nathnael Mengistie ’22 and Sydney Hughes ’22, as well as University of Oxford graduate student Elise Doumergue, have been named recipients of the prestigious Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Scholarship.

The Sachs Scholarship aids students in further study at either Princeton, Oxford’s Worcester College, or another international institution of higher education. 

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Since the scholarship’s founding in 1970, dozens of Princeton University seniors have benefitted from the generosity and opportunity for higher learning that the fund provides; over the years, the number of recipients has increased from one student from 1970–2006, to three students from 2017 to present. 

“The Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship commemorates Dan Sachs,” according to the scholarship’s website. “Sachs was a distinguished student and a fine athlete who intended to enter politics. He died of cancer at the age of 28. Sach's friends and classmates instituted the scholarship to provide a senior with an opportunity to study, work, or travel abroad after graduation.”

The scholarship is intended for students with interests in public affairs or law, science or medicine in the public interest, in order to “enlarge the holder’s experience of the world,” according to the website.

In 2022, three students were chosen for the monetary award, two from Princeton University, and one from the University of Oxford. The Sachs Worcester award enables a Princeton senior to study for two years at Worcester College, Oxford, while the Sachs Global award allows a Princeton senior to study for one to two years anywhere outside the United States. The Sachs at Princeton award enables a graduate of Worcester College, Oxford to study for one year at Princeton University’s graduate school.

Nathnael Mengistie ’22 is a student from Fredrick, Md. in the School of Public and International Affairs department, who is pursuing certificates in French as well as Global Health and Health Policy. Mengistie is the recipient of the Sachs Worcester award, and says that he plans to use the award to pursue two master's degrees.

Heather Howard, Mengistie’s senior thesis advisor, professor, and co-director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing’s Global Health Program, called her advisee a “uniquely well-rounded student” in the University press release.

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“I’m struck by what a special person Nathnael is — while maintaining a remarkably rigorous and diverse academic schedule (juggling a policy major and two certificates with pre-med classes), he has also carved out a role of deep engagement on campus and in the broader community, and is committed to a career advancing health equity,” Howard said in the statement. “And somehow he does all this with the sunniest disposition I have ever encountered in a high-achieving Princeton student.”

In an email to the ‘Prince,’ Mengistie reflected on his background and four years spent at Princeton, expressing gratitude for the opportunities afforded to him by the Univesity.

“While I definitely plan on continuing my research on issues pertaining to the American health care system, I also want to learn about what health care delivery looks like in other parts of the world,” he wrote. “Since I’m originally from Ethiopia, I’m particularly interested in studying the health care challenges that exist in resource-limited settings.” 

Mengistie also looked toward his plans for his time at Oxford.

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“At Oxford, I plan on conducting research at the intersection of health economics and public policy,” he told the ‘Prince’ in an email. “I specifically want to explore the health financing reforms currently being enacted by various African countries and whether or not they are in fact leading to increased government investment in health care.” 

“I will then return to the U.S. and pursue my medical education,” he continued. “Eventually, I see myself advising various international organizations and governments across the world on different health policy issues.”

Sydney Hughes ’22 is a BSE student who hails from Mahopac, N.Y. and is concentrating in chemical and biological engineering with certificates in German and Sustainable Energy. Hughes is the recipient of the Sachs Global award, and plans to study for two years at the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

“Sydney has a strong dedication to the public interest through the development of a carbon-free energy infrastructure,” said Richard Register, a professor of chemical and biological engineering who recommended Hughes for fellowship, in the University press release. “Though the overarching goal of an extended-lifetime catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells is a challenging one — and will certainly not be solved by one person in one year — Sydney is well poised to advance this project during her time at [Technical University Munich].”

In a phone interview with the ‘Prince,’ Hughes discussed her academic experiences at the University and her renewed interest in studying abroad.

“Like many other students [at Princeton], I wanted to study abroad during my time at Princeton and I wasn't able to because of [the COVID-19 pandemic]. So, this is kind of my chance to be able to go to Germany and use the German skills that I've been accruing,” she said. “I'll be doing research with a research group at the Technical University of Munich, so I'll be working with them for two years.”

When asked to reflect on her time at the University and her extracurricular activities, Hughes talked about her involvement with energy and environmental student groups, as well as her love for being a Peer Academic Advisor (PAA). 

“I'm really interested in sustainability as a whole,” Hughes said. “[Princeton Energy Association and Princeton Conservation Society] have been really great to explore that avenue. In addition to those two, I'm also a PAA for Rocky College, which I really love doing. I really enjoy advising first years and sophomores, extending my knowledge and all of the experience that I've accrued, giving it to them.”

The international recipient of the 2022 Sachs Scholarship is Elise Doumergue of Paris, France, who received the Sachs Princeton award. A University press release stated that Doumergue is currently an Oxford University master’s student in international affairs, and intends to use the scholarship to enroll as a visiting student at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. 

Previously, she studied at Sciences Po in Paris, France and spent a year at George Washington University in Washington D.C., according to the press release. Doumergue earned her undergraduate degree in political humanities from Sciences Po in 2020.

The Sachs scholarship is awarded annually in January. Current Class of 2023 students interested in applying for the award in 2023 can find more information here

Bailey Glenetske is an Assistant News Editor who often covers current University affairs and politics. She can be reached at bailey.glenetske@princeton.edu or on Instagram @bailey.glenetske.

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