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Scholar Award Cohort: Spring 2016

Ayse Ulgen '17

Ayse Ulgen PhD is a scientist with over 15 years multi-disciplinary experience in research, grant writing, project management, consulting and academia. The range of her areas of expertise and research is rich in diversity, scale and scope and include health and science policy, bioinformatics, genetic epidemiology, and biostatistics. She has worked on a variety of disorders as well as research topics involving biomedical projects for the European Space Agency and the evaluation of artificial tools in education.


Ayse completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Statistics in the UK and she holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from SUNY Stony Brook in New York. She has lectured and researched at Rockefeller University and Columbia University in NY, INSERM and American University in Paris, the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and at EMU in her native country of Cyprus. Ayse got involved with Keiretsu and the 100 Women in Hedge Funds while she was in Paris and New York and regularly attended their meetings. During this time Ayse has discovered her interest in and passion for business, as well as her desire to work in a more dynamic, international environment.


Ayse is fluent in English, French, and Turkish, with a working knowledge of German, and is currently studying Danish. In an ideal world, Ayse would combine the multi-cultural diversity, energy, open mindedness, scientific advancement, and spirit of opportunity of New York with the refinement and cultural intensity of Paris, the warmth of the people and traditions of her native Cyprus, and the passionate tango dance of Buenos Aires.

Brett Panitz '16

Brett was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Later, Brett earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa, where he wrote for the University’s Energy Law Journal. He first became interested in Thunderbird after he learned at an early age that his grandfather’s stockbroker was a T-Bird. Brett always had an admiration for this man and thus kept Thunderbird at the top of his list when applying to business schools. Brett was recommended by TIAA Annual Member James Baker '11 of Scottsdale, AZ.


Brett has a diverse professional background which includes working as a title agent in the oil and gas industry, practicing law, and working in a managerial capacity in the metals recycling field. He has traveled the world, visiting or studying in such locales as Prague, Paris, Dublin, Geneva, Madrid, and London. In his free time, Brett enjoys attending concerts, watching the Tennessee Volunteers play college football, dabbling in the stock market, reading, and skiing. He is an avid fisherman and can be found during the Summer months fishing for trout on the rivers of Arkansas.


Upon graduating from the Master of Global Management program at Thunderbird, Brett plans to either return to the oil and gas industry in a global role, or re-enter the metals recycling business. He has high hopes for this new Thunderbird program and remains confident that it will help him achieve his aspirations.

Dawson Law '16

Dawson Law was born and raised in Whitefish, Montana. His interest in all things international was piqued when he was a foreign exchange student in Switzerland during his junior year of high school. 


Dawson is a member of the United States Foreign Service (U.S. Diplomatic Corps). His first assignment was at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, monitoring implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan. After receiving Polish language training, Dawson served at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, where he served as a vice consul and assistant to Ambassador Stephen Mull. Dawson most recently worked on various assignments in Washington before coming to Thunderbird.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Dawson worked for a Senator from Oregon, and as a lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on international trade issues, advocating for the congressional approval of free trade agreements between the U.S. and Peru, Colombia, and Panama.


Dawson graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon with a degree in International Affairs. While at Lewis & Clark he studied abroad in Brussels, Belgium, for a year and interned at the United States Mission to the European Union.  Dawson is an avid traveler, photographer, outdoors enthusiast, skier, scuba diver, hiker. He enjoys learning languages and speaks German, French, and Polish.  Upon graduation from Thunderbird, Dawson plans to continue his work in foreign policy with a focus on global government affairs and public policy. 

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