Two Indian-Americans made it to the prestigious American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2018 announced Nov. 18. They were among the 32 outstanding students selected from around the country and will commence their studies at Oxford in October 2018.
Samarth Gupta of Harvard and Jaspreet “Jesse” Singh of the U.S. Air Force Academy will be among a distinguished list of past winners including former presidents and other high achievers.
They were selected from a pool of 866 candidates who had been nominated by their colleges and universities. They will now complete their applications to begin courses at Oxford next year, widely across the University’s academic disciplines.
Samarth Gupta, of Acton, Massachusetts, immigrated to the United States from India with his family when he was three. He is a Harvard senior concentrating in Economics, according to the bios released by Rhodes. Already the recipient of the Truman Scholarship, Gupta’s senior thesis explores how increased access to health care contributes to community housing stability. He has done extensive research on the causes and consequences of eviction on individual and community health, interned with the City of Boston Office of Housing Stability and with the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Samarth is captain of the Harvard College Running Club, was one of two students on the Harvard General Education Standing Committee, and was a staff writer for the Harvard Political Review. He intends to do the M.Sc. in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford.
Jaspreet “Jesse” Singh, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is a senior at the United States Air Force Academy where he is pursuing a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. Singh’s research addresses questions of policy, ethics, and the management of military assets and nuclear weapons. In his career, Singh intends to bridge the divide that exists between technology and policy. He interned at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and conducts ongoing research at the Center for Aircraft Structural Life Extension. Jesse has completed several ultramarathons. At Oxford, Singh plans to study for an M.Sc. in Engineering Science.
Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, described this year’s class as reflecting the “rich diversity” of America, including ten African-Americans, the most ever elected in a U.S. Rhodes class; African and Asian immigrants; other Asian, Muslim, and Latino Americans; an Alaskan Native (Aleut); a transgender man, a self-acknowledged transgender Rhodes Scholar; four from colleges that have never before elected Rhodes Scholars in the 115 years of the United States Rhodes Scholarships.
The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the academic field and the degree chosen. 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. The total value of the Scholarship averages approximately US$68,000 per year, and up to as much as approximately US$250,000 for Scholars who remain at Oxford for four years in certain departments.
The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.