Four Indian American students are among 32 US citizens awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships for all-expense-paid study at the University of Oxford in England starting October 2011.
Aakash K Shah of New Jersey, Prerna Nadathur, Priya. M Sury and Varun Sivaram of California were named for what Elliot F. Gerson, the American secretary of the Rhodes Trust, called "the oldest and best known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates."
They were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.
The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in Oxford as well as during vacations, and transportation to and from England.
Gerson estimates that the total value of the Scholarship averages approximately $50,000 per year.
Aakash K. Shah of Cliffside Park graduated from Ursinus College and is now in his first year at Harvard Medical School.
Prerna Nadathur of Roseville is a senior at the University of Chicago, where she majors in mathematics and minors in linguistics and philosophy.
Priya M. Sury, also of Roseville, graduated summa cum laude in anthropology and Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis in May. She is currently studying for an MD degree at the University of Minnesota.
Varun S Sivarum of Monte Sereno is a senior at Stanford, majoring in engineering physics and international relations. A Truman Scholar and junior mentor at Phi Beta Kappa, Sivarum has won Stanford prizes for excellence in humanities and political science, as well as in engineering.
In addition to the 32 Americans, scholars are also selected from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the nations of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (South Africa, plus Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.