Skip To Content
Spelman Spring

Student Stories

Betanya Mahary Named 2017 Beinecke Scholar

May 2017

Spelman Scholar Betanya Mahary Betanya Mahary, C’2018, has been selected as a 2017 Beinecke Scholar and will receive $34,000 toward her graduate education. Mahary, who is double majoring in sociology and anthropology and comparative women’s studies, is one of 20 college juniors nationwide chosen for the scholarship, which encourages and enables highly-motivated students to pursue a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Since 1975, the program has selected more than 610 scholars from more than 110 undergraduate institutions to receive support for graduate study. Each scholarship recipient receives $4,000 immediately before entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.

After graduating from Spelman, Mahary plans to pursue a master’s degree in migration refugee and diaspora studies, and a Ph.D. in anthropology.

"As a future professor, I see myself as a person who will provide the tools and encouragement for students to develop the lens through which they will analyze the world,” said Mahary. “My classes will foster spaces of intellectual exploration and inclusiveness.”

A Spelman Scholar Who is Making a Choice to Change the World

Betanya Mahary

Mahary, who is Eritrean-Ethiopian, was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, even though she spent her teenage years growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is passionate about education, poverty, migration, and women’s rights. Prior to arriving at Spelman, Betanya spent one semester traveling and serving various communities. While traveling abroad for six months she volunteered for JHPIEGO, a Johns Hopkins University affiliate that provides premier healthcare for women and children.

She also traveled to the south of Ethiopia to explore issues regarding child marriages. Her travel includes Norway, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Kenya and Turkey. At Spelman, she has served as a Social Justice Associate, co-vice president of Girls Going Global, and vice president of Students for Palestine. She has also served as a content curator for Black Beyond Borders, an organization that documents and shares the narratives of Black students who study/travel abroad and Black professionals who work in international fields.

A Social Entrepreneur Who Gives Back and Pays it Forward

Mahary also owns a non-profit called Girls for Education in Ethiopia where she supports young girls as they further their education. Her recent project in Ethiopia, S.A.F.E Farm (Success Agro Farm Enterprise) works on providing young children fresh and organic food to fight malnutrition. Through her travels and educational experiences around the world, she has become fluent in Amharic, Tigrinya, French and Arabic.

Photo from Black Beyond Borders