Celebrating Duke Students
Jamal Burns 2021 and Kendall Jefferys 2021
Amelia Steinbach 2021
Yuexuan Chen 2021
Here is the list of 2019-2020 Fulbright Awards offered to Duke applicants, their major and year of graduation, host country and project:
- Jasmine Alexander-Greene from Mebane, North Carolina, Russian-2020, Russia, English Teaching Assistant
- James Budinich from Northport, New York, Music Composition Ph.D. candidate-2022, Denmark, Engaging Simplicity: Composing After the Danish New Simplicity Movement
- Elise Cai from Plano, Texas, biology-2020, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
- Natasha Derezinski-Choo from Greensboro, North Carolina, Linguistics and Neuroscience-2019, Cameroon, Many Medicines and Many Languages: The Sociolinguistic Underpinnings of Medical Pluralism
- Nathan Drapela from Ridgefield, Washington, German Studies Ph.D. candidate-2023, Switzerland, Narrative and the Development of Modern Selfhood, 1800-1910
- Maram Elnagheeb from Concord, North Carolina, public policy and sociology-2020, Jordan, English Teaching Assistant
- Allison Geary from Omaha, Nebraska, Computer Science and Middle Eastern Studies -2020, Bahrain, English teaching assistant
- Lea Greenberg from Lawrence, Kansas, German Studies Ph.D. Candidate-2021, Germany, Language, Literacy, and Jewish Female Desire in German and Yiddish Literature
- Tiarra Hughes from New York City, New York, International Comparative Studies-Latin America and Caribbean-2020, Colombia, English Teaching Assistant
- Ralph Lawton from Avondale, Pennsylvania, Economics-2020, Indonesia, Creating Culturally Specific Population Tools for Alzheimer’s Diagnostics and Prevention
- Tina Liang from Clovis, California, computer science-2017, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
- Jessica Marlow from Spartanburg, South Carolina, Global Health, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies-2020, Taiwan, National Taiwan University Award in Global Health
- James Rees from Mooresville, North Carolina, Mathematics-2019, Laos, English Teaching Assistant
- Max St. George from Wheaton, Illinois, Economics with Finance Concentration-2019, Malaysia, English Teaching Assistant
- Sahil Sandhu from Milpitas, California, Program II Health Innovation: Evidence to Impact-2020, United Kingdom, Fulbright/Newcastle University Award for a master’s degree in Heath Services Research
- Michael Shu from Mason, Ohio, Biology-2020, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
- Andrew Tsai from Ellicott City, Maryland, Biology and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Concentration)-2020, English Teaching Assistant
- Austin Zhang from Cary, North Carolina, Neuroscience-2020, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant
- Saheel Chodavadia from Round Rock, Texas, Economics-2020, United Kingdom, Fulbright/ London School of Economics and Political Science Award for a master’s degree in Economics
- Dane Burkholder from Colorado, Economics-2018, Germany, for a Master's degree in International Economics from the Berlin School of Economics and Law
Use this link to read the full Duke Today article. For more information about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program visit their website and NCS's overview page for applying to the Fulbright award.
Bigyan Babu Regmi, a senior from Gorkha, Nepal, is one of 119 students from around the world who have been awarded a prestigious fellowship to study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University.
This initiative brings together young people who have demonstrated a talent for leadership and innovation for an interdisciplinary master’s program.
Yenching Scholars are awarded a full scholarship to study for a year at Peking University. Additionally, there is the option to extend the scholarship for a second year should scholars plan to remain in Beijing.
Use this link to read the full Duke Today article. For more information about Yeching Academy visit their website.
Duke alumna Katherine Becker, Trinity ’17, has been awarded the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Peace and Reconciliation.
The award provides a full tuition-fee waiver to an exceptional female student from the United States who wishes to pursue study in a field related to politics, conflict transformation or human rights at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. This is the second year the award has been offered.
Becker is the sole recipient of the award for 2020-2021. She will use her award to complete a master of arts in global security and borders, furthering her research interests in global migration.
Duke University junior Rohin Maganti is among the 396 undergraduate students from around the country awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
This federally endowed award encourages students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Maganti, a biomedical engineering major from Dallas, plans to pursue a medical degree and Ph.D. in cancer biology.
Since its first award in 1989, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has awarded 9,047 scholarships worth approximately $71 million. Including Maganti, Duke students have won 85 Goldwater scholarships since 1990.
Use this link to read the full Duke Today article. For more information about the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship visit their website and our NCS overview page for applying for the Goldwater Scholarship.
Duke alumnus Mohamed Ismail and graduate student Maria Pia Rodriguez Salazar are among the 30 recipients nationwide of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.
The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships, established in 1997, award up to $90,000 to immigrants and children of immigrants to complete graduate studies in the United States.
Ismail, who graduated from Duke with a degree in civil and structural engineering in 2013, is a Ph.D. student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is researching building technology and the application of structural optimization to help alleviate housing insecurity.
Rodriguez is pursuing a Ph.D. in cell biology in the laboratory of Cagla Eroglu, where she is investigating the roles of astrocyte mitochondria in regulating proper brain development.
Use this link to read the full Duke Today article. For more information regarding the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, visit their website and our NCS overview page for applying to the PD Soros Fellowship.
Duke juniors Monica Desjardins and Darien Herndon have been named two of 55 recipients of the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment or Native American tribal public policy or health care.
Both Desjardins, a psychology and global health major from Maricopa, Arizona, and Herndon, a biology major from Lumberton, North Carolina, have been recognized as scholars in the area of Native American tribal health care. Only 8 of the 55 scholarships awarded this year focused on Native American tribal health issues.
Desjardins, a David M. Rubenstein Scholar and Cardea Fellow, plans to eventually pursue a Ph.D. in a mental health-related field. Her ultimate goal is reducing stigma and addressing disparities in mental health care by increasing educational and preventative resources within her community.
Herndon plans to attend medical school and hopes to become a reconstructive surgeon in an underserved Native American community. Her work also focuses on Native American health disparities, but seeks to resolve them through better statistics and increased cultural competency. She is a founding member of Alpha Pi Omega, Duke’s first Native American sorority.
Use this link to read the full Duke Today article. For more information regarding the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, visit their website and NCS's overview of applying for the Udall Scholarship.
Duke University students Maya Durvasula, Class of 2018, and Jenny Jiao, Class of 2020, have been awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship. Jiao and Durvasula are part of the third group to be awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship at Stanford.
Durvasula, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, attended Duke as a Robertson Scholar and graduated summa cum laude in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She hopes to conduct research at the intersection of law and economics, focused on technology diffusion in low-income contexts. Durvasula will pursue a joint JD/Ph.D. degree in law and economics.
Jiao, a senior from Columbus, Ohio, is the first graduating senior from Duke to be awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship. She will pursue a degree at Stanford Law School after graduating in May with a bachelor's degree in economics.
To read the full article from Duke Today, click here. Click on the link for more information about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. If you are interested in applying to the program with Duke's support, visit our NCS overview of the Knight-Hennessy.
Duke University alumnus Noor Tasnim has been named one of 18 Luce scholars for 2020-2021. The Luce award provides stipends for living and professional placement in Asia.
Tasnim graduated from Duke in 2018 with distinction in evolutionary anthropology and in global health. He researches lower limb biomechanics, musculoskeletal injuries and performance. His research interest came about after he joined Street Medicine Urban Dance Team at Duke and began to study barefoot locomotion and lower limb injuries. His research led to a senior thesis on the causes of foot and ankle pain in rural areas of Madagascar where people typically do not wear shoes.
Click here to read the full article from Duke Today. For more information about the Luce Scholarship, visit their website. If you are interested in applying to the Luce Scholars Program, visit our NCS overview for the Luce.
Duke University medical student Jenna Armstrong is among 28 U.S. recipients selected for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Armstrong, who graduated from Bates College in 2015, is Duke’s 14th Gates-Cambridge Scholar.
Armstrong, from Livington, New Jersey, will pursue a Ph.D. in physiology, development and neuroscience while at Cambridge. She will join current Gates-Cambridge scholars in October 2020 to form a community of approximately 220 scholars in residence at the University of Cambridge.
To read the full article from Duke Today, click here. For more information regarding the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, visit their website. If you are interested in applying, see the NCS overview of Gates Cambridge.
Duke University senior Azim Dharani has been awarded a 2020 Churchill Scholarship, one of sixteen this year, to pursue a year of graduate study at Cambridge University in England. Dharani, a senior Angier B. Duke Scholarship from Lewisville, Texas, is completing a major in chemistry and minors in computational biology and classical archaeology. He is the 22nd Duke undergraduate to receive this honor.
Dharani plans to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry at Cambridge, while working with professor Erwin Reisner, a pioneer in the field of semi-artificial photosynthesis. During his fellowship, Dharani aims to combine his interests in computational chemistry and biophysics to develop efficient metal-based solar fuels.
You can read the full article here.
For more information about the Churchill Scholarship program visit their website, or see NCS’s overview for applying for the Churchill Scholarship.
Five Duke University students and alumni have been named Schwarzman Scholars, a program that funds one year of study in Beijing, China.
Seniors Charles Berman of Durham, North Carolina, and Max Labaton of Washington, D.C., join 2019 Duke graduates Yunjie Lai of Chongqing, China, and Kevin Zheng of Glenelg, Maryland, and 2017 graduate Steven Soto of Phoenix, Arizona, as members of the Schwarzman Class of 2021. They are among 145 scholars chosen from more than 4,700 applicants worldwide.
Berman will graduate with majors in visual media studies, and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese concentration). A filmmaker, Berman has studied abroad in China and Argentina, and has been involved in Duke Sport Clubs as their director of media for the past two years. Berman plans to create and support border-transcending media content as a director, producer and artist.
Labaton, a managing editor of The Chronicle, will graduate with a degree in public policy studies. He is a student leader of the American Grand Strategy Program, where he has organized and participated in on-campus panels and off-campus travel to better understand the history of international conflicts. Labaton has worked for the U.S. State Department at the embassy in Peru and for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and previously interned on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He aspires to pursue a career in diplomacy and international security.
Yunjie Lai, known as Caroline to her friends, is the first Chinese scholar from Duke to win a Schwarzman Scholarship. She graduated with majors in economics and international comparative studies with concentrations in China and East Asia. She co-founded a cultural and educational media platform, Insight China, in 2014 and has served as the chief editor for the North America region since then. Lai plans to use media to bridge Chinese international students in the U.S. with China and the world.
Kevin Zheng graduated with majors in computer science and biology. At Duke, Zheng served as an EMT, published research on the biochemistry of “smart drugs,” and conducted clinical informatics research. He co-founded Optiml, a startup dedicated to using artificial intelligence to detect debilitating eye illnesses via retinal imaging. Zheng aspires to be a leader in health artificial intelligence and is committed to developing equitable technologies through global collaboration.
After graduating from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, Steven Soto joined Venture for America to learn how technology and entrepreneurship can combine for social good. Soto is the first person in his family to go to college and received the William J. Griffith University Service Award as an undergraduate. As a civic technologist, he wants to use purposeful technology and design to strengthen democracies around the globe.
The scholars develop leadership skills through a funded one-year master’s degree in English in global affairs at Tsinghua University, with specialization tracks in public policy, economics or international studies. Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to understand other cultures.
Read the full article from Duke Today here. For more information regarding the Schwarzman Scholarship program visit schwarzmanscholars.org or see NCS’s overview of applying for a Schwarzman Scholarship.
Chelsea Jubitana is one of approximately 1,413 American undergraduate students from 427 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship in its Cycle 1 2019 competition. The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad.
Chelsea Jubitana is a junior of the Class of 2021 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, double majoring in Public Policy and Global Health, and minoring in Psychology. In the Spring of 2020, she will complete an intensive study abroad experience through the School of International Training which examines different health systems in both the rural and urban areas of India and Brazil for 4 weeks each, and South Africa for 5 weeks. Chelsea is a David M. Rubenstein Scholar and a QuestBridge Scholar. In Durham, she serves as the Director of Leadership and Academic Services and mentor for the Movement of Youth under its affiliation with AmeriCorps.
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or international internship program costs. Cycle 2 of this scholarship program will open in January.
For more information about the Gilman Scholarship program visit gilmanscholarship.org or see NCS’s overview of applying for a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Each year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. Duke has been named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright student awardees every year since the Institute of International Education began tracking the rankings. This brings Duke’s total count of Fulbright student awardees to 480.
“We’re so excited for our 13 winners. The accomplishments of our undergraduates, alumni and graduate students are such a gift to witness,” says Bevin Tighe, program coordinator for Nationally Competitive Scholarships at Duke. “It’s so rewarding to help them craft their written applications to showcase their accomplishments as well as their professional and personal visions for a more interconnected world.”
Here is the list of Duke students who received 2018-2019 Fulbright Student awards, his or her major/program, host country and project:
- Michael Becker, PhD in history ‘20, Jamaica: Enslaved Jamaicans, Abolition, & the Struggle over Customary Arrangements, 1780-1838
- Nicole Gaglia, PhD in art history ‘20, Japan: Visualizing Bodies: Public Health and the Medicalized Everyday in Modern Japan
- Rajiv Golla, political science ‘17, Uganda: Studying the Indian Community of Uganda and Their Return
- Medha Gudavalli, public policy ‘16, Ecuador: English instruction
- Tanner Johnson, computer science ‘17, Spain: English instruction
- Joshua Lovett, psychology ‘18, South Korea: English instruction
- Vanessa Lusa, public policy ‘18, Spain: English instruction
- Danielle Mayall, environmental science and policy ‘15, Brazil: English instruction
- Attyat Mayans, Chinese, cultural anthropology and child policy ‘18, China: China’s Academic and Social Divide: Preparing to Study Domestically or Abroad for College
- Chloe McIntosh, public policy and Spanish ‘17, Brazil: English instruction
- Tierney Pretzer, public policy ‘18, South Korea: English instruction
- Maura Smyles, public policy ‘18, Spain: Paternity Leave in Spain: Usage and Impact on Gender Roles
- Brittany Wong, neuroscience and French ‘18, Switzerland: Gene Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration at the University of Geneva in Switzerland
Over 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English and conduct research abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world. Since the Fulbright Program began in 1946, participants have been chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential and given the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
“Our aim is to have even more applicants for the coming cycle,” Tighe says. “We look forward to meeting the next amazing group of Duke applicants for these life-changing Fulbright awards.” For Duke students and alumni thinking about applying in a future cycle, Duke has early deadlines to take advantage of the full range of advising support from Nationally Competitive Scholarships—beginning with application drafts due over the summer. The national deadline for Fulbright Student Program is in early October.
Duke University senior and University Scholar Jack Myhre is among 34 U.S. recipients selected for a Gates-Cambridge Scholarship. The scholarship covers a student’s tuition and living expenses while completing a graduate degree at the University of Cambridge. Myhre, of Buckhannon, West Virginia, is Duke’s 13th Gates-Cambridge Scholar.
At Duke, Myhre is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in energy engineering. He plans to pursue a master of philosophy in engineering for sustainable development in the Department of Engineering at the Cambridge. Myhre has been active as Duke Engineering senior class president and Engineering Student Government vice-president, a team leader for Duke Motorsports and as captain of the rugby team. He studied abroad in both France and New Zealand and spent two summers in Burundi interning as an engineer in a hospital.
Long term, Myhre hopes to bring sustainable energy engineering solutions to areas of rapid development and growth, particularly sub-Saharan Africa where he was raised and still considers home despite "a life characterized by travel and shifting residences." Myhre hopes to use his time at Cambridge to develop skills that allow him to make a difference in East Africa, making its growth be sustainable and not detrimental to the people and land he loves.
Read the full Duke Today article here. For more information on the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship see www.gatescambridge.org and Duke’s overview of applying for a Gates-Cambridge Scholarship.
Julie Uchitel of Southampton, Pennsylvania, and Shomik Verma of Houston were chosen from among more than 1,000 applicants throughout the country. They are the 28th and 29th Marshall recipients from Duke.
Approximately 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded each year to high-achieving American students to pursue post-graduate studies at any university in the UK in any field. The award covers all university fees, cost-of-living expenses and many other costs. On behalf of the entire university community, I am delighted to congratulate Julie and Shomik on this great honor, which reflects their truly exceptional work at Duke,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price.
Uchitel, a neuroscience and French double major, has conducted both clinical and basic pediatric research since high school at Duke Children’s Hospital and at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. At Duke, she is president of the Neuroscience Majors' Union, and was the neuroscience department's nominee for the Faculty Scholar Award, the highest honor given by faculty to students.
In addition to her interest in pediatric medicine and developmental neuroscience at both the clinical and basic science levels, Uchitel focuses on early childhood and child rights. She is currently writing an article on child rights and early child development with the International Pediatric Association and members of the World Health Organization.
With Marshall funding, Uchitel will pursue a research master of philosophy (MPhil) in pediatrics at Cambridge, developing a new optical imaging technology for newborns at risk for brain injury, and a master’s degree in international child studies at King's College London. She has already secured academic advisers for her research projects at both institutions.
Verma is studying mechanical engineering, with minors in energy engineering and mathematics. He is involved in energy research and has been working for the past three semesters in the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory with Nico Hotz, assistant professor of the practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science. Verma has previously been selected for a Goldwater Scholarshipand a Udall Scholarship. Faculty have chosen Verma to be both a Grand Challenge Scholar and a Pratt Fellow, honors that offer extensive lab experience.
Verma was also elected to Tau Beta Pi and serves as co-president of Pi Tau Sigma. For his Pratt fellowship, Verma is working with solar thermal energy for hydrogen production and has applied this knowledge as co-president and technical lead of the Duke Electric Vehicles team, building a hydrogen fuel cell car and leading a Duke student team to a Guinness World Recordfor the most efficient human-carrying vehicle ever built. Verma is also president of the Duke Energy Club, through which he has worked with Duke’s Energy Initiative to create three new assistantships for students to do energy research with faculty.
Fascinated by the potential of renewable energy technologies to radically reduce human impact on the environment, Verma will join the lab of lecturer Rachel Evans at Cambridge University to pursue his near-term objective of developing novel materials that increase the efficiency of solar photovoltaic cells.
Read the full article at https://today.duke.edu/2018/12/two-duke-students-win-marshall-scholarships. See a list of all this year's Marshall Scholarship recipients online at http://www.marshallscholarship.org/.
Three Duke University seniors were among the 32 recipients selected this weekend for prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. Kushal Kadakia from Houston, Ariel Kantor from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Claire Wang from North Salt Lake, Utah, were chosen from among 880 applicants at 281 colleges and universities throughout the country. They are the 47th, 48th and 49th students in Duke’s history to receive Rhodes Scholarships, which provide for all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. This marks the second time that Duke has had three Rhodes Scholars in one year.
Duke President Vincent E. Price commended them: “From their engagement in the community to their exceptional success in the classroom, Ariel, Claire and Kushal have demonstrated at Duke a commitment to leadership, service and excellence. As they move on to Oxford, we are proud that they will be lifelong members of the Duke family.”
Kushal Kadakia, a 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner, is the recipient of a four-year, merit-based Angier B. Duke Scholarship and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. He is also one of three 2018 Faculty Scholars in the Duke senior class, an honor bestowed by the Duke faculty on the basis of excellence in the classroom and in independent research.
Kadakia is preparing for a career in medicine and public policy committed to making health care access more equitable. He is completing the requirements for medical school as well as double majoring in biology and public policy, with a minor in public health. He led the successful campaign to make Duke a smoke-free campus and has been involved with research through four different positions -- one in health policy, one in innovation policy, one in a cardiology laboratory and one in a radiation oncology laboratory. He plans to pursue graduate studies in medicine and public policy. Eventually, he intends to enter public service and apply his clinical and policy training to transform health care at the macro level.
Ariel Kantor is working toward a career in gene engineering and translational medicine, and pursued a self-designed major at Duke that focused on the intersection of bioengineering, policy and the business of biotechnology. Under the supervision of professor Susanne Haga in the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine, Kantor’s research for his senior thesis examined developing technology-based therapies for orphan diseases. His work has resulted in four publications, including one in which he is listed as first author.
At Duke, Kantor pursued gene engineering research in the lab of professor Charlie Gersbach, a leader in genome editing using Crispr/Cas9 technology. Kantor also works on human rights and violence prevention. His work with the Duke Human Rights Center includes hosting programming that sheds light on human rights violations and facilitating dialogue around issues of religion and violence. At Oxford, Kantor plans to study molecular medicine and gene therapy to develop therapies for the treatment of orphan diseases using novel epigenetic technologies.
Claire Wang was recently awarded two other prestigious scholarships -- the 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholarship and the 2018 Morris K and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship. She is the recipient of a four-year, merit-based Angier B. Duke Scholarship, a member of Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society, and this past spring was recognized with Duke's Outstanding Leadership in Sustainability - Student Award.
An environmental science and policy major with minors in economics and Asian and Middle Eastern studies, Wang has devoted her extracurricular time to environmental activism. As president of the student organization Duke Climate Coalition, she encouraged Duke to lead on climate action. In her time at Duke, she has worked with students, faculty, administrators and community members to secure Duke’s public support of North Carolina renewable energy policy reform and to stop a natural gas plant proposed to be built on campus. Wang will pursue two consecutive Master of Science degrees at Oxford in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance and in Global Governance and Diplomacy. She will pursue a career in environmental advocacy and hopes to create lasting, effective change.
Read the full story at Duke Today: https://today.duke.edu/2018/11/three-duke-seniors-named-rhodes-scholars A complete list of the scholars can be found here.
Prathibha Juturu has been named one of 10 Payne International Development Fellows in 2018, Duke’s second graduate to receive the distinction. Payne Fellowships include tuition for two-year masters degrees at U.S. institutions on international development or topics tied to the work of the USAID Foreign Service. Fellowships also include living stipends and expenses for two summer internships: in DC before study begins, and overseas in a USAID Mission. Those who successfully complete the program and USAID Foreign Service entry requirements receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development with a five year service agreement.
Juturu studied Environmental Engineering and minored in Arabic, where she had various international experiences that shaped her interest in international environmental issues. She participated in Duke in the Arab World, a summer study abroad program in Morocco. Afterwards, she received funding for a summer internship with the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Amman, Jordan to work for the Regional Office of West Asia in the Gender, Livelihoods, and Drylands Program. During her last year at Duke University, she researched on an interdisciplinary Bass Connections team to understand the environmental and health effects of used motor oil pollution in an auto mechanic village in Kumasi, Ghana.
Juturu was also awarded the Critical Language Scholarship Program in Ibri, Oman and then took time away from her studies to work as a program assistant for CARE International in the Food Security and Livelihoods Program for South Syria based in Amman, Jordan. Her experience with CARE opened her eyes to the crucial humanitarian and resilience efforts in Syria and the need for environmental sustainability to maintain long term resilience of these efforts. She will be studying at Johns Hopkins University in the Masters of Science in Geography and Environmental Engineering program. She is excited to begin her career in creating sustainable solutions to environmental and development issues.
Duke University juniors Kushal Kadakia and Claire Wang are among 59 students selected nationally as 2018 Truman Scholars from 756 nominations nationwide. Students from every state are selected based on their leadership potential, high academic achievement and a commitment to careers in public service and advocacy. Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.
Kadakia, an Angier B. Duke Scholar from Houston, is dedicating his energies to health policy and advocacy. Kadakia has spear-headed a campaign to make Duke a smoke-free campus and has been involved with research through three different positions -- two in health policy and one in a biomedical laboratory. In addition, Kadakia serves as Duke Student Government vice president and as chair of the Duke Honor Council, and is a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees, the Duke Presidential Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility, and the Duke Undergraduate Conduct Board.
Wang, an Angier B. Duke Scholar from North Salt Lake, Utah, has dedicated her extracurricular time to environmental activism. Wang arrived at Duke with a plan in hand to spur the university to meet its stated goal of carbon neutrality. By the end of the year, because of her advocacy, the university signed an open letter (authored by Wang) urging legislators to legalize third-party energy sales in North Carolina. This was Duke’s first direct engagement in renewable energy legislation. During her sophomore year, Wang led a campaign to stop the university from building a natural gas plant on campus. Her leadership of a coalition of faculty, staff, students and community members halted the project.
Read the full Duke Today article here. For more information on the Truman Scholarship see www.truman.govand Duke’s overview of applying for a campus Truman nomination.
Three Duke University students are recipients of the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment or Native American tribal public policy or health care. This is the first time since 1997 that Duke has had three Udall Scholars awarded in a single year. Juniors Shandiin Herrera of Monument Valley, Utah; Shomik Verma of Houston; and Claire Wang of North Salt Lake, Utah, will receive the scholarships.
Herrera is co-president of the new Duke chapter of the first Native American sorority, Alpha Pi Omega Sorority. She has served as both the treasurer and powwow chair for the Native American Student Alliance. Also a Gates Millennium Scholar, Herrera received a Udall Scholarship honorable mention last year in recognition of her leadership and service to Native American communities on campus and at home. This summer, she will be a 2018 Udall Native American Congressional Intern. Herrera is Duke’s first Native American Udall Scholar.
Verma received a 2018 Goldwater Scholarship for his engineering research and has worked on designing and implementing new sustainable technologies. He is president of the Duke Energy club, has worked with Duke’s Energy Initiative to create three new assistantships for students to do energy research with faculty, and is vice president of the Duke SMART home, where residents live in a LEED Platinum building and work on sustainability issues.
Wang has been an environmental advocate since her early teen years, organizing support for third-party energy sales from renewable sources with Utah Clean Energy. At the close of her first year at Duke as an A. B. Duke Scholar, Wang was president of the Duke Climate Coalition, and noticed a summer break announcement of a natural gas power plant on Duke’s campus. She assembled a coalition of campus groups to oppose the plan, which subsequently underwent a period of public comment and review and has since been suspended indefinitely. Last year, Wang was named as a Udall Scholarship honorable mention. Since then she has served as a Summer Policy & Legislation Intern with Earthjustice, and a research assistant at the Duke University Environmental Justice Lab. Wang was also named a 2018 Duke nominee for the Truman Scholarship.
Read the full Duke Today article here. For more information on the Udall Scholarship, visit www.udall.gov and Duke’s overview of applying for a campus Udall nomination.
Samantha Bouchal and Shomik Verma, juniors at Duke University, and Pranav Warman, a sophomore, have been named 2018 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. They are among 211 students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year. Seventy Duke students have received Goldwater Scholarships since 1995.
The scholarships go toward the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,280 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the institutional representatives of 455 colleges and universities nationwide. Virtually all scholars intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective.
Bouchal is a neuroscience major and Angier B. Duke Scholar from Queen Creek, Arizona. During her time as an undergraduate at Duke, UConn and the Mayo Clinic, she has investigated the gut-brain connectome, the neurogenetics of dyslexia, and molecular interventions for spinal cord injury. Her current project focuses on the role of an anti-cell death protein, XIAP, in the development of brain metastases in inflammatory breast cancer patients. Bouchal plans to earn a Ph.D. in neurobiology and work as a principal investigator and professor at a major research university. She aspires to mentor the next generation of neuroscientists, using what she has learned from her own mentors to help close diversity gaps in the STEM disciplines.
Verma is a junior from Houston, studying mechanical engineering with minors in energy engineering and mathematics. He is involved in energy research and has been working for the past three semesters in the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory with Nico Hotz, assistant professor of the practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science. Verma hopes to obtain a doctorate in the applications of heat transfer in renewable energy and is excited about the potential of developing novel energy technologies to help solve energy challenges.
Warman, a sophomore and Angier B. Duke Scholar from Tampa, Florida, is double majoring in computer science and biology. Interested in leveraging computational and mathematical tools to better understand and solve biology’s big problems, Warman’s research topics include schizophrenia and its relapses, retinal diseases and a project in neural tissue regeneration. After Duke, Warman plans to continue researching these areas through a graduate degree.
Read the full Duke Today article here. For a full list of winners and more information, visit http://goldwater.scholarsapply.org and Duke’s overview of applying for a campus Goldwater nomination.
Three Duke University students have been named Schwarzman Scholars, a program that funds one year of study in Beijing, China at Tsinghua University -- one of China’s most prestigious universities. Seniors Riyanka Ganguly of Seattle, Amy Kramer of Boca Raton, Florida, and Aron Rimanyi of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, were named to the third class of Schwarzman Scholars. They are among 140 recipients selected from more than 4,000 applicants worldwide.
The scholars develop leadership skills through a funded one-year master’s degree (taught in English) in global affairs, with specialization tracks in public policy, economics or international studies. Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to understand other cultures.
“I want to congratulate this year’s Schwarzman Scholars on this well-deserved honor,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “Duke has fostered a strong relationship with the academic community in China, and we know that we will have many more opportunities to cooperate in the coming years. We are proud to be sending three of our most accomplished students to Tsinghua University, and I wish them the very best in their studies there.”
Ganguly, a Baldwin Scholar and president of Duke Student Government, majors in political science with a minor in chemistry. She has worked at the intersection of global health and business at the United States Agency for International Development. At Duke, she created the Peer Advocacy for Sexual Health resource center. She plans to work in international development, where she hopes to lead projects that establish family planning and sexual health education programs.
Kramer, a Robertson Scholar and ROTC Cadet, majors in public policy and political science, with concentrations in U.S. foreign policy and security, peace and conflict studies. She is interested in the strategic security benefits of mainstreaming gender perspectives in military operations, and has done research in Rwanda, Israel and the United States on women’s leadership in this area. Kramer plans a career in shaping a more inclusive U.S. defense policy and in forging new diplomacy ventures abroad.
Rimanyi, an A.B. Duke Scholar and W. Earl Sasser Scholar, majors in political science and economics, with a minor in mathematics. At Duke, he has been a leader in the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, the Alexander Hamilton Society and the Carolinas Hungarian Group. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Hungary, Rimanyi has worked for various international organizations, including the Hungarian National Trading House and Swiss Youth Parliament. He plans to pursue a career in international consultancy.
The scholars will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. A complete list of the scholars can be found here. Read the full story at Duke Today.
Two Duke University students and one Duke graduate are among the 43 recipients of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. Seniors Meghana Vagwala of South Grafton, Massachusetts, and John Lu of Whippany, New Jersey, and 2016 Duke graduate Antonio Lopez of East Palo Alto, California, were chosen from among 929 applicants throughout the country. They are the 25th, 26th and 27th Marshall recipients from Duke.
Marshall Scholarships are awarded each year to high-achieving American students to pursue post-graduate studies at any university in the UK in any field. “I am delighted that two distinguished Duke students and one alumnus have received this prestigious recognition,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “In their time on campus, Meghana, John and Antonio have each demonstrated tremendous academic potential and a dedication to service that reflects Duke’s core values. I wish them the very best as they embark on their studies in the United Kingdom.”
Meghana Vagwala plans to use her Marshall Scholarship for post-graduate studies in medical anthropology at the University of Edinburgh and in global mental health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is particularly interested in exploring cultural norms related to brain health in South India. Upon her return to the U.S., she plans to attend medical school to prepare for a career in both clinical care and global health research. Vagwala hopes to consider neurological and psychiatric issues in a broader cultural context. “At Duke, I’ve been able to interweave my feminist ethos, love of stories, and curiosity about the workings of the human brain,” Vagwala said. “I am honored and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to dig deeper into these passions as a Marshall Scholar.”
John Lu will use his Marshall Scholarship for a one-year master of science degree in health policy, planning and financing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, followed by a year of research toward a master’s in philosophy in biochemistry at Cambridge. After this training in the UK, he intends to complete an M.D./Ph.D. and then embark on a career to develop vaccines that can eradicate neglected tropical diseases. “I am humbled and honored to have been granted the opportunity to further my studies in the UK,” Lu said. “I’m particularly excited to more deeply explore the basic and social science facets of neglected tropical diseases. What makes these diseases special is that they don’t necessarily kill people, but over the long term they kill people's hopes and dreams.”
Antonio Lopez will apply his Marshall Scholarship seeking to forge connections with Muslim-affiliated institutions in the UK in order to ground academic text with the ongoing, on-the-ground practices of British Muslims. After completing the Marshall Scholarship, he hopes to attend a joint-degree J.D./Ph.D. program and, eventually, to begin working on behalf of immigration clinics in the San Francisco area. "While I am honored beyond words to represent my community with this scholarship, it cannot end with me,” Lopez said. “I want leaders like David Jiménez, Daisy Almonte, Ana Ramírez, Axel Herrera, Gustavo Andrade and so, so many more to know you are the greatest gifts our community has.”
Marshall Scholarships were established in 1953 by the British government to honor the ideals of the Marshall Plan and the special US/UK relationship. Read the full story on Duke Today, or see a complete list of this year's recipients online on the Marshall Scholarship website.
Gabrielle (Gabi) Stewart, a Duke University senior from San Dimas, California, was among the 32 recipients selected this weekend for prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. She was chosen from among 866 applicants at 299 colleges and universities throughout the country, and is the 46th student in Duke's history to receive a Rhodes Scholarship. The scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
“I want to congratulate Gabi on her well-deserved Rhodes Scholarship,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “In her time at Duke, she has demonstrated great leadership both on campus and off through her social justice work and her research on ancient Greece. She is very well qualified to join the long line of distinguished Duke graduates who have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships, and I look forward to seeing where her career takes her from Oxford.”
Stewart is the recipient of a four-year, merit-based Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship, a member of Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society and one of three 2017 Faculty Scholars in the Duke senior class. In both her scholarship and her research, Stewart is interested in shining a light on people -- modern and historical -- whose voices have been lost or forgotten. A classical languages major and history minor, her research interests include early modern manuscripts and papyrology, the study of ancient literature written on papyrus. At Oxford, Stewart plans to deepen her knowledge of Greek social history and to continue her study of the Greek language. Stewart is also active on behalf of modern-day people who sometimes slip through the cracks. She is a founding member of the Duke Coalition for Alleviating Poverty and president of the Community Empowerment Fund. The fund -- a student-driven local nonprofit -- provides financial coaching to people in shelters and transitional housing with the aim of helping them achieve financial stability.
“I am beyond honored to have been named a Rhodes Scholar,” Stewart said late Saturday night. “I cannot articulate how thankful I am for everyone who made this possible: my family, friends, professors, mentors, fellowship advisors, and the amazing people I met from District 16. I'm so delighted that I have the opportunity to cultivate the knowledge and experience to ‘fight the world's fight’ at Oxford." See the full article on Duke Today here.
Jackson Skeen, a Duke senior from Virginia Beach, Virginia, is one of 12 students nationwide selected as George J. Mitchell Scholars, chosen on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service. Mitchell Scholars spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland.
Skeen, an English major, began at Duke as a Robertson Scholar, a competitive leadership development program that provides a four-year merit scholarship. His academic and research interests focus on the criminal justice system, specifically its shortcomings in the United States, and the role restorative justice can play in the legal process. Skeen is a founding member of Duke’s Restorative Justice Working Group and the undergraduate director of Duke Law School’s Innocence Project. He will study criminology and criminal justice at University College Dublin. See the full article on Duke Today here.
Niisoja Torto Awarded Gilman Scholarship
Niisoja Torto is one of approximately 1,200 American undergraduate students from 354 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad during the summer 2017 term. Niisoja studied global health in rural South Africa with the Organization for Tropical Studies during the summer after his first year at Duke. He went on to serve as a Health Policy Intern with Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation. Niisoja, also a Reginaldo Howard Scholar at Duke, is pursuing a Public Policy major with a minor in Global Health. On campus, he serves on the President's Council for Black Affairs and dances with Duke Swing. He aims to dedicate his life to public service and to leveraging policy solutions to combat health inequities in the U.S. and abroad.
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. For more information, visit /gilman
Natasha Torrens Awarded Boren Scholarship
Natasha Torrens has been named one of 194 undergraduate students to win David L. Boren Scholarships out of 791 applicants. Natasha is a Duke junior Air Force ROTC cadet, and double major in Economics and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies with a Turkish focus. She has used the Boren Scholarship to pursue intensive Turkish language study in Baku, Azerbaijan. Natasha aims to contribute to US-Turkey diplomatic relations through a career in foreign service.
Boren Awards support undergraduates and graduates pursuing languages overseas in world regions critical to U.S. interests. In exchange for funding, Boren Award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. Boren Scholars and Fellows alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. For more information on Boren Awards, visit www.borenawards.org. Undergraduates should also see /boren.
Duke University is proud to have two Critical Language Scholarship winners from the 2016-2017 competition: Prathibha Juturu and Krishni Metivier. Prathibha Juturu, a senior major in Environmental Engineering studied Arabic in Ibri, Oman. Krishni Metivier, a Ph.D. student in Religious Studies pursued Hindi in Jaipur, India. They are among approximately 550 students selected for CLS awards to study in the summer of 2017. The Critical Language Scholarships offer fully-funded, intensive language study in countries where these less-commonly-taught languages are spoken. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Applications are due in mid-November and OUSF is happy to offer advice and support to interested Duke students at all levels. For full details, see the press release.
Duke University junior Ashlyn Nuckols is among 20 students nationwide selected as 2017 Beinecke Scholars. The Beinecke Scholarship supports students of exceptional promise as they attend the graduate school of their choice. Beinecke recipients receive $4,000 in their senior year of undergraduate studies and $30,000 during graduate school. A student must apply as a junior, demonstrate financial need and plan to study arts, humanities or social sciences.
Nuckols, from Essex, Vermont, studies cultural anthropology, with a minor in political science. She has worked with the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke, producing a documentary exhibit titled “Trying to Get By: (Not) Making Ends Meet in Our Low Wage Economy” that was presented at the 2015 Oral History Association Conference. Nuckols also co-founded the Cook Center Media Workshop, a documentary production group. “Ashlyn is an extremely brilliant and engaged student -- one of the best undergraduates I have ever taught,” said Laurent Dubois, a professor of romance studies and history at Duke. “She already has a deep and firm grasp of both theoretical questions and the process of research. She will excel in graduate school.”
Nuckols hopes to pursue a degree in comparative social policy at Oxford University before embarking on a Ph.D. in anthropology or political science. “I want to build on my current research, which investigates the ways in which progressive movements attempt to build community, solidarity and collective identity across a myriad of differences in these polarizing times,” Nuckols said. Read the full story on Duke Today, or learn more about the Beinecke Scholarship on our site.
Bryce Cracknell, a Duke University junior from Charlotte, NC, has received the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment or Native American tribal public policy or health care. “Bryce is and will be an intellectual leader and change agent not only in his community but also nationally and globally on issues of the environment and human rights,” Trinity Arts & Sciences Dean Valerie Ashby said. Additionally, Duke sophomores Shandiin Herrera and Claire Wang were named honorable mentions for the Udall Scholarship. For more information on the Udall Scholarship, visit www.udall.gov. Read the full Duke Today article here.
John Lu and Karen Xu were among 240 students selected from a field of over 1,000 mathematics, science and engineering students nationwide pursing PhDs in their fields. Lu, a Trinity College of Arts and Sciences student from East Hanover, New Jersey, is double majoring in chemistry and math, with a minor in biology. After Duke, he hopes to conduct research on viral neglected tropical diseases. Lu has also conducted public health research in Tanzania, founded Duke’s first undergraduate global health journal, taught a house course on neglected tropical diseases, and served as a peer adviser for the Academic Advising Center. Xu, a Pratt School of Engineering student from Manassas Park, Virginia, is majoring in biomedical engineering, with a minor in chemistry. After Duke, she hopes to pursue a research career working at the nexus of cell biology and materials science. At Duke, Xu is active in Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science, as well as the wind symphony. She is also a resident adviser. Two other Duke juniors, Reena Debray and Dev Dabke, were among 307 students who received honorable mention. Sixty-seven Duke students have received Goldwater Scholarships since 1995. For a full list of winners and more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, visit goldwater.scholarsapply.org. Read the full Duke Today article here.
Maya Durvasula, a Robertson Scholar from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is among 62 students selected as 2017 Truman Scholars. Students are selected based on their records of leadership, public service and academic achievement, and their likelihood of becoming public-service leaders. Durvasula has been involved with research through the Duke-UNC Initiative on Poverty and Inequality and the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she will serve as president of the Duke Partnership for Service and co-editor-in-chief of the Duke Political Review. “Maya has a real commitment to using her exceptional academic and social skills to make the nation a better place for those who are not as fortunate as she is. She does this not out of guilt, but out of a sense of responsibility,” said Robert Korstad, a professor of public policy and history at Duke. To date, 50 Duke students have received Truman scholarships since the program was initiated in 1977. Read the full Duke Today article here.
Kaveh Danesh and Sanjay Kishore, two young alumni of Duke University, are among 30 recipients nationwide of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Danesh, a 2012 Duke graduate, will use his award to support work toward a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California at Berkeley. After Duke, Danesh was a Fulbright Scholar in China, received a master’s degree in statistics from Harvard University and interned at the White House. Kishore, a 2013 Duke graduate, will use his award to support work toward a medical degree at Harvard. After Duke, he served as the Villers Fellow at Families USA and started Commonwealth Covered, a student-run campaign to enroll Virginia residents in health insurance programs.
Fellows come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, reflecting much of the diversity of recent immigrants and refugees in the United States. The 2017 class has heritage in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Guyana, India, Iran, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Venezuela and Vietnam. For more information on the fellowship, see www.pdsoros.org. Read the full Duke Today article here.
Seniors Justin Bryant of Johns Creek, Georgia, and Julian Keeley of New York, New York, and 2015 graduate David Robertson of Fairfax, Virginia, were named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars, which provides for one year of study at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. “I’m thrilled that Duke has three Schwarzman Scholars this year,” said Duke University President Richard Brodhead. “A deep understanding of China will be critical to future leaders, and I’m delighted that these three outstanding young people, who have contributed greatly to the Duke community, will have this exciting opportunity.” Read the full Duke Today article here.
Duke University seniors Laura Roberts of Dallas and John “Jay” Ruckelshaus of Indianapolis were among the 32 recipients selected this weekend for prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. Roberts is a Global Human Rights Scholar and Lowell Aptman Prize finalist. Ruckelshaus is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Angier B. Duke Scholar. Read the full Duke Today article here.