- The “best and brightest” young women were selected from a record 1,190 applicants.
Three Indian Americans, all women, are among 46 recipients of the 2021 Marshall Scholarships, chosen among the “best and brightest university students and recent graduates in the United States,” who will begin graduate studies at many of the UK’s top academic institutions beginning in September 2021.
Chosen from a record 1,190 applicants are Keerthana Annamaneni of Yale University; Maya Ravichandran of Rutgers University — New Brunswick; and Nitheyaa Shree Ramesh of Georgia State University.
For the first time in the program’s 66-year history, the incoming class will be majority-minority with 52 percent reflecting minority communities across the United States, including a record number of Black and Latinx scholars. A majority of the class are female and six are first-generation college students.
Overall, the 2021 class represents a wide range of academic backgrounds and includes activists for social justice, an elected public official, entrepreneurs, journalists, scientists, and artists. Several Scholars will be pursuing degrees related to the urgency of Climate Change and Renewable Energy and will arrive in the UK two months before the country hosts the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.
Annamaneni, who plans to pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in political theory at Oxford University, majored in political science at Yale, where she was part of the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights, according to The Yale News. She is interested in political philosophy, with a focus on theories of punishment.
Annamaneni, interned for The New York Times, was editor-in-chief of The Politic, a Yale student-run publication, and currently is an assistant editor for Foreign Affairs. Outside of journalism, she has worked for legal organizations including the Bronx Defenders and the Office of the Federal Public Defender in New Haven. For her public service, she was awarded a Yale-Jefferson Award during her senior year.
Ravichandran is the only the second Rutgers student in the school’s history to receive this prestigious postgraduate scholarship, according to Rutgers Today. The university’s first recipient, Diego A. Atehortúa, was named a Marshall Scholar in 2020.
Ravichandran will study computer science and artificial intelligence at University of Oxford next year. “I thought it would be great to get a new perspective from living abroad,” she told Rutgers Today. “When it comes to computer science and the application of AI in medicine, there is a lot of that work going on in the UK.” Rutgers Today says that “Ravichandran’s final course project in her graduate ‘Machine Learning’ class, for example, is using a machine learning model to predict attitudes toward COVID-19 and social distancing.”
She told the university newsletter that “proper analysis of that data can benefit public health. If you are able to predict someone’s attitude toward COVID based on where they live or their level of education, you can focus education efforts on people who are less likely to know a lot about the virus or do not have positive attitudes toward social distancing.” At Rugters Ravichandran has served as the president of Rutgers Venture Capital Club, as well as on the executive board of the Rutgers University Student Assembly, and volunteered in the ER of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Ramesh, Georgia State University’s first Marshall Scholar will study neurodegenerative disorders and designing therapies to treat them at the University of Bristol. “I’m very excited and very honored,” Ramesh told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “As the very first Marshall Scholar from Georgia State, I feel like this will open doors for those who are coming after me, and I hope to inspire other students to apply.” Ramesh is currently pursuing her B.S. in Neuroscience at Georgia State University, as a Presidential Scholar in the Honors College. She received an undergraduate research grant to better understand the mechanisms of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Her work in Prof. Angela Mabb’s research lab studies the role that a specific protein, known as ARC, plays in learning behaviors in the aging brain. Before joining the Mabb Lab, she was an undergraduate research assistant in the Pallas Lab, where she studied the effect of visual experience on the morphology of horizontal cells in the spermatogonial stem cell (SSC). She was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship for her work in the Pallas Lab. She is currently the vice president of the Undergraduate STEM Research Society and has helped start an Undergraduate Research Seminar Series at GSU. Apart from her passion for science, she is an aspiring musician who plays six instruments and performs professionally around the world with her sister.
Named for Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarship Program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude to the people of the United States for the assistance that the UK received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Since that time, it has remained uniquely positioned among national scholarships for its prestige and scope: offering talented young Americans the chance to study any academic subject at UK universities of their choice for up to three years. With over 2,100 Scholarships awarded to date, Marshall Scholars are leading the conversation and direction of some of the most critical issues of our time.