Sarah Jarrar '21
Originally from the small town of Homewood, Ala., Sarah Jarrar found a home at UNH as a sophomore transfer student in 2018. “I immediately felt welcomed by the faculty,” she says, “and was eager to learn more about what UNH had to offer.”
A commuter student from Bow, NH, Jarrar has maximized her time as a Wildcat. A double major in anthropology and history, she’s especially interested in the Middle East. As a sophomore, advised by anthropology senior lecturer Sara Withers, Jarrar researched publicly accessible data about migrant populations and came up with an innovative idea. Her proposed Janas Analytics software to predict global migrant crises won third place at the NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge in 2018.
During her junior year, she presented a history colloquium project at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference about foreign contributions to the cultural sector of the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. “I loved the research process and working with my professor, Ethel Wolper, to develop my paper into an engaging presentation,” she says. Another research project, an oral history of the Palestinian experience in Kuwait between 1948 and the Gulf War, was published in the Macksey Journal, an undergraduate academic publication of Johns Hopkins University.
One of Jarrar’s most transformative experiences was an internship with the U.S. Department of State. As a public diplomacy intern at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai, she spoke with young Emiratis about their educational interests and about higher education opportunities in the United States. “I also developed outreach programming catered to Emiratis in the UAE,” Jarrar says. “I learned a lot about the realities of diplomacy and the volatility of U.S. foreign policy in action.” She also won a COLA study abroad award to study archeological surveying and mapping methods in Belize.
Jarrar is a semifinalist for a Fulbright research grant to conduct research with Syrian migrants in Istanbul. She’s also applied to social data science graduate programs and wants to pursue a doctorate in anthropology.
“In one way or another, all of my COLA professors have taught me that intellectual autonomy and the ability to make an effective argument are important skills,” Jarrar says. “As a liberal arts major, I have a strong ability to approach and process information in a critical way.”