Penn Alum George Karandinos Awarded Soros Fellowship

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460May 2, 2014

University of Pennsylvania alumnus George Karandinos has been awarded a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. He is among 30 students from across the United States chosen in the annual competition that attracted more than 1,200 applicants this year.

The Soros Fellowships are designed to assist immigrants and children of immigrants to pursue graduate studies at U.S. universities. Each Soros Fellow receives up to $90,000 for tuition and stipends.

Born in Alabama to Greek parents, Karandinos graduated from Penn in 2010. He will use the fellowship to support work toward an M.D. and a Ph.D. in medical anthropology.

“These remarkable scholars are poised to make significant and lasting contributions to American life,” said Craig Harwood, who directs the fellowship program. “The 2014 fellows underscore the remarkable diversity that New Americans represent. They include future leaders in science, medicine, music, documentary film, law and politics.”

As a sophomore at Penn, Karandinos moved to a neighborhood at the heart of Philadelphia 's heroin and cocaine markets in order to more fully understand the social processes restricting the life chances of the U.S. poor. He lived there until moving to attend Harvard Medical School.

Karandinos is currently taking a year's leave from medical school to co-author a book, titled Cornered. It draws on his experiences in Philadelphia as a basis for examining the narcotics economy and its effect on public health.

The Soros Fellowship is open to college seniors, students in the early stages of their graduate career and those in the workforce who are seeking graduate training.