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Alumnus, incoming MBA student win Soros Fellowships

Darya Nachinkina, left, and Michael Slama SM ’08, PhD ’11 are among this year's 30 Soros Fellowship winners.
Darya Nachinkina, left, and Michael Slama SM ’08, PhD ’11 are among this year's 30 Soros Fellowship winners.
Photos courtesy of the Soros Fellowships

An MIT alumnus and an incoming student at the MIT Sloan School of Management have been named recipients of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans for 2012.

Darya Nachinkina, who will join MIT Sloan's MBA program in the fall; and Michael Slama SM ’08, PhD ’11 are among the 30 young scholars granted the fellowships, which support the graduate studies of immigrants and children of immigrants.

Nachinkina, who was born in Moscow, immigrated to the United States at age 19, won admission to Harvard University, and graduated summa cum laude with a major in government. Two years later she earned her MPA at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is the founder and executive director of the non-profit Arts for Crafts, which partners with artists to sell their work. The proceeds are used to purchase craft supplies for Russian orphans.

Slama was born in Dijon, France, the son of Sephardic Jews from Tunisia and Morocco who fled political turmoil in their home countries to settle in France in the 1960s. As a French teenager, Michael became particularly sensitive to racism and social injustice toward minorities. He studied engineering at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité in Metz, France, and went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech in 2005. He immigrated to the United States the following year and was naturalized in 2011. Combining his interests in acoustics, music, electrical engineering, neuroscience and surgery, Michael earned a PhD in 2011 from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program.

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