Student Profile

Hamid Bendaas
Hamid Bendaas ’15
Clemmons, NC

Recipient of the Jerry and Carol Trautschold Odyssey Scholarship

What did you do this past summer?
Last summer, I served as an intern at the Institute of Palestine Studies, where I handled their digital outreach, specifically video communications.

Please comment on the pursuit of your major and minor, as well as any other academic interests.
I will soon complete my degree in political science, where my specialty is the political philosophy of Machiavelli. However, I also spend much of my free time pursuing filmmaking.

Please tell us about a significant or memorable experience you have had during your time at UChicago.
In my second year, I made a film for a weekend film festival on campus, which ended up being the winner, about a student whose life turns around after adopting a very fat cat. We borrowed the cat from a friend and had planned some outdoor scenes, however the cat was so afraid once filming began that it went haywire, unfastened its own leash and ran into the bushes. Luckily, we were able to corner him and get him back indoors, but that sequence is one I will never forget.

What activities do you participate in outside of the classroom? Are there any that are new from last year?
My primary activities outside of the classroom are my presidency of Fire Escape Films and serving as chair of College Council, the undergraduate student government, which I was elected to last fall.

As a scholarship recipient, to what extent are you grateful for the support you received?  What are your thoughts on how you might one day give back to the University of Chicago?
I am very grateful for the financial support that I've received, which has made it possible for me to attend this university in the first place, as well as pursue time-consuming interests like filmmaking, which I'd be unable to do if I was burdened financially while attending. I'd love to continue to contribute to this university at the very least by continuing to support Fire Escape Films, which I've had a big hand in making a renowned campus institution during my time here.

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