At least six Indian American and South Asian American students were named Feb. 13 among the 2018-2019 Churchill Scholars by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.
The latest group of scholars is the foundation's largest since it announced the first three awards in 1963, it said.
Among the 15 scholars were Aswini Krishnan of U.C. San Diego, Aishwarya Nene of the California Institute of Technology, Vikram Sundar of Harvard University, Anna Thomas of Stanford University, Joseph Kannarkat of the University of Pittsburgh, and Yousuf Khan of the University of Maryland.
The foundation also awarded the inaugural Kanders Churchill Scholarship in Science Policy courtesy of a gift from board member Warren Kanders, raising the number of the cohort to 16 scholarship recipients.
The Churchill Scholarship and Kanders Churchill Scholarship are for one year of master’s study at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. The awards cover full tuition, a stipend, travel costs and the chance to apply for a $2,000 special research grant.
The Kanders Churchill Scholarship is awarded from a pool of applicants to the Cambridge master’s in public policy.
For the 15 Churchill Scholarships in mathematics, science and engineering, the foundation received 101 nominations from 69 of its 112 participating institutions.
The most popular department to which nominees applied was mathematics, with 19 applicants. The next most popular department was chemistry with 12, the foundation said.
Kannarkat, of Chantilly, Va., was the Kanders Scholar. He earned a bachelor's in neuroscience and economics at the University of Pittsburgh. With his scholarship, he will study for an M.Phil. in public policy in the university's department of politics and international studies.
Krishnan, of Fremont, Calif., earned a bioengineering degree at U.C. San Diego. At the University of Cambridge, she'll pursue an M.Phil. in biological sciences at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
Nene, a San Jose, Calif., native, earned her bachelor's in chemistry from Cal Tech. As a scholar, the Indian American student will study for her M.Phil. in translational biomedical research at the university's school of clinical medicine.
Sundar of Saratoga, Calif., earned an A.B. in mathematics and chemistry and an A.M. in physics while studying at Harvard University. He will be pursuing an M.Phil. in chemistry as a Churchill Scholar.
Thomas, of San Jose, Calif., is pursuing a bachelor's in mathematics and computer science at Stanford University. At the University of Cambridge, in the engineering department, she will pursue an M.Phil. in information engineering.
“Looking to the future, I am excited about applying ideas from machine learning to improve society and help others reach their potential,” Thomas said in a Stanford report. “Particular application areas I am interested in include robotics and personalized education.”
Khan of Potomac, Md., earned a bachelor's in cell biology and genetics at the University of Maryland. The Pakistani American will study for an M.Phil. in biological sciences in the pathology department.
The scholarships were established at the request of the British statesman and Prime Minister Winston Churchill to fulfill his vision of scientific exchange between the United States and the United Kingdom. The goal of the scholarships is to advance science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic, helping to ensure prosperity and security.