William and Mary

Omar Shairzay

Omar Shairzay

Murray 1693 Scholar


Alexandria, VA (Mount Vernon High School)

Why W&M?

I do not see how anyone could forgo an opportunity like the Murray Scholars program, especially at a school like William & Mary. The College of William & Mary is one of the most selective institutions of higher learning in the nation with amazing faculty members and a student body truly passionate about learning and making their mark on the world. The size of William & Mary is optimal - big enough that there is plenty of diversity, activity, and events, but small enough that I am part of a close-knit community. The College is also a convenient distance from where I live, an approximately two and a half hour drive from home. Of course, the Murray Scholars program is an additional advantage. The program provides for an impressive array of benefits, including a full scholarship, priority course registration, personal faculty mentors, special meetings with internationally renowned figures, a generous research stipend, the option to study abroad at Oxford University, and the opportunity to join a community of scholars with diverse interests and limitless talents. An undergraduate could not ask for anything more from his school. Choosing William & Mary was a real no-brainer.


Neuroscience, Anthropology

Extracurriculars at W&M
  • Students for Healthy Communities: Spring break ethnographic and medical relief team in Nicaragua
  • President and Founder of Time for T.E.A (Tolerance, Empathy, and Acceptance): An interfaith organization established to promote tolerance, empathy, and acceptance among all faiths including the faithless. However, the organization emphasizes strengthening the relationship between Muslims and Jews.
  • Staff Writer for the Dog Street Journal
  • Muslim Student Association member
  • Health Careers Club member
  • Sentara Williamsburg Hospital Volunteer
  • Optimal Healing Environments Volunteer: Volunteer work at a local mental institution interacting with patients.
  • Matthew Whaley Elementary School Tutor
  • Unite for Sight: International non-profit organization that seeks to improve eye health in communities worldwide and eliminate preventable blindness
  • Club Tennis Team member
Research at W&M

Following a spring 2007 international service trip to Cuje, Nicaragua, where I helped set up a medical clinic and conducted ethnographic fieldwork with W&M classmates and Professor David Aday, I decided to study pediatric malnutrition in the village as my Murray Scholar research project. I began my research the summer following my freshman year and I returned to Cuje every summer to continue my research. As clinic coordinator for my international service trip, I returned to Cuje every spring as well. In addition to research in Nicaragua, I completed laboratory research with Dr. John Griffin, the director of the neuroscience program at W&M.

Where am I now?

I'm finishing up my fourth year of medical school at Dartmouth and am applying for residency in Anesthesiology with the end goal of practicing Critical Care Medicine. Right now I'm looking at programs in Washington D.C and the Pacific Northwest. When I'm done with interviews I'm planning on spending three or four weeks traveling around Italy as a little reward.