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May 30, 2006

Student chosen as Merage American Dream Fellow

Yuriy Teslyar, a Stanford student majoring in electrical engineering, is one of 15 graduating seniors nationwide to be awarded a Merage American Dream Fellowship.

The fellows, each of whom will receive $20,000 over two years to "pursue their American Dream," are immigrant citizens or permanent residents with stellar academic records who demonstrate leadership, are ethically responsible and have the potential to make significant contributions to American society.

The scholarship was created by Paul and Lilly Merage, U.S. immigrants who established the Merage Foundation for the American Dream to recognize and reward academically outstanding immigrant students. Winners also will secure networking and mentoring support from the foundation throughout their careers.

Teslyar was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 with his parents and grandparents to escape prejudice, persecution and poverty. His parents separated after the family arrived. By age 14, Teslyar was holding various jobs to help his mother support the family. He was active in Jewish community youth organizations in Texas and was valedictorian of his high school class.

Teslyar is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He was one of 60 students to receive the President's Award for Academic Excellence in his freshman year. Teslyar aspires to be a business leader and entrepreneur. His Merage project involves applying technology to improve education and helping new companies toward realizing their goals.

Stanford's nomination process was coordinated by Laura Selznick, special assistant for diversity outreach in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE). The interview committee included VPUE staff members from immigrant families. The Merage Foundation's national advisory board conducted interviews of nominees and selected fellows based on the clarity of their American Dream and the strength of their commitment to contribute or give back to America.

Editor Note:

Teslyar can be reached at



Ray Delgado, News Service: (650) 724-5708,


Laura Selznick, special assistant for diversity outreach: (650) 723-3828,

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