Pakistani-American Nergis Mavalvala is among 38 immigrants being honoured this year with the 'Great Immigrants' award by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The 'Great Immigrant' honour is in recognition of neutralised citizens who make America strong. Each year since 2006, the Carnegie Corporation has recognised the contributions of naturalised citizens. The honourees represent more than 30 different countries of origin, a wide range of personal immigration stories, and a high-level of professional leadership in numerous fields.
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Mavalvala was born to a Parsi family in Karachi where she did her primary schooling. She is currently an astrophysicist and a professor at MIT and was among the team of eagled-eyed scientists who, for the first time, observed ripples in the fabric of space and time called gravitational waves.
“Our annual tribute to Great Immigrants demonstrates the richness of talent, skills, and achievements that immigrants from around the world bring to every sphere of American society,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.
“This campaign reminds us of the debt the United States owes to generations of immigrants who become citizens and contribute to the progress of this country. Today, we celebrate and thank them.”
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Other honourees include Somalian-origin Ilhan Omar who was the first Somali American Muslim legislator elected to office in the United States South Korean-origin Do Wan Chang who is the cofounder and CEO of fashion brand Forever 21.