Stanford University recently announced its recent cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, with five outstanding Indian American students named among the 49 recipients.

The 49 Scholars include citizens of 20 countries who will be pursuing degrees in 28 graduate programs at Stanford, the university said.

The Indian American newly named scholars are Nitisha Baronia, Anoma Bhat, Suhani Jalota, Aadith Moorthy and Aditya Vishwanath.

Baronia, of San Ramon, Calif., will pursue a law degree at Stanford Law School. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley with bachelor’s degrees in political science and business administration. Currently she works at the American Civil Liberties Union as an intake coordinator and is researching gender-based violence for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Mexico and Guatemala. She was editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Political Review, served as U.C. Berkeley's 2016 Travers Scholar, was named a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar, and received the European Union Ambassadors Conference Prize and American Foreign Service Association Award, her Knight-Hennessy bio said.

Bhat, originally from New Delhi and raised in China, Singapore, Vietnam and the U.S., will pursue a master’s degree in international policy studies at the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. She graduated magna cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a gender studies minor. She is proficient in several languages, including Arabic, Hindi, Spanish and Urdu, and aspires to work in the nonprofit and public sectors as a leader in international aid policy, her bio said. As a program officer in the Civil Society and Peacebuilding department of FHI 360, Bhat coordinated peacebuilding workshops for USAID in Morocco, managed research trips to Morocco, El Salvador and Jordan, and worked on proposals to implement USAID projects in Nepal, Mali and Djibouti, it said. She also spent six months in Jordan on the U.S. government's Boren Scholarship, studying Arabic and working with Iraqi and Syrian refugees.

Jalota, of Mumbai, will pursue a doctorate in health policy at Stanford School of Medicine. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and global health from Duke University, where she was a Baldwin Scholar and a Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurship Fellow. She aspires to become a social health entrepreneur, creating self-sustaining health-related organizations managed entirely by the low-income communities for which they exist, her bio said. She worked as an associate at IDinsight in the Philippines, and interned at the Naandi Foundation in India, Dalberg Global Development Advisors in India and Economic Policy Research Institute in South Africa. As an entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of the Myna Mahila Foundation in Mumbai, which produces affordable menstrual hygiene products, it said. She received the Queen’s Young Leader award from Queen Elizabeth II, was selected as the grand prize winner of Glamour magazine’s College Women of the Year, and won a Woman Center Global Impact Award, her bio noted.

Moorthy, of Palm Harbor, Fla., will pursue a doctorate in materials science and engineering at Stanford School of Engineering. At the California Institute of Technology, he is a double major in materials science and computer science. Moorthy aspires to become a university professor researching basic materials science that could efficiently translate into products to solve humanity’s materials shortcomings, his bio said. He is also the founder and CEO of ConserWater Technologies, an artificial intelligence startup helping farmers conserve water by using NASA satellite data, weather data and geospatial deep learning techniques to predict irrigation water needs, it added. Moorthy has been named a Barry Goldwater Scholar, a Henry Ford II Scholar and an American Society of Metals Scholar. He also performs regularly as a professional South Indian classical vocalist, his bio added.

Vishwanath, originally from Chennai, will pursue a doctorate in learning sciences and technology design at Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he will earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He aspires to a career designing and building educational technology for use in underserved communities around the world, his Scholar bio said. As the founder and CEO of Inspirit Consulting, a design firm focused on the instructional value of virtual reality, he has worked on projects in the U.S. and India, it said. He has also collaborated on a study with Google, exploring strategies to integrate low-cost virtual reality toolkits into a Mumbai school’s curriculum, and raised seed funding for OrchestrAI, a machine learning music startup, the bio noted. At Georgia Tech, he received the College of Computing Outstanding Junior award and is a three-time recipient of the President’s Undergraduate Research award.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholar program develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation, Stanford said.

Up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world are named scholars each year, with the recipients to study for a graduate degree at Stanford.

The program seeks rebellious minds and independent spirits, welcoming people who are sharp thinkers, but even more so, curious, who will bring good ideas and maverick perspectives to old challenges, the university said.

The scholars will bring strong internal drive — a steely determination and focus — but with the ability to reflect and adapt, it said.

Applications for 2019 Knight-Hennessy Scholars will begin to be accepted May 1.

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