Two Indian-Americans, 2 Indians among Stanford’s Knight-Hennessy Scholars


The first cohort of students selected for Stanford’s new Knight-Hennessy Scholars, includes 5 youth of Indian origin from United States and India. They are among 49 students from 20 countries pursuing degrees in 28 Stanford graduate departments.

According to the website, Knight-Hennessy Scholars “develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation.”

Starting this year, up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world will receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, including the JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, and PhD programs, as well as all joint- and dual-degrees. Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world.

The Indian-origin scholars for this year include two Indian-Americans and three Indian citizens. The achievements of each scholars and their plans for the future, are available on the Knight-Hennessy website. (All photos are from the Knight-Hennessy website)

Nitisha Baronia

Nitisha Baronia of San Ramon, California, will be pursuing a JD at Stanford Law School. Baronia graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor’s degrees in political science and business administration, earning highest honors and the Haas Business School Department Citation. Currently she is researching gender-based violence for the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees in Mexico and Guatemala. She has also worked at the American Civil Liberties Union as an intake coordinator. At UC Berkeley, she was editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Political Review, served as UC 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.

Aadith Moorthy

Aadith Moorthy from Palm Harbor, Florida, will be doing a PhD 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 wants to become a university professor researching basic materials science that could efficiently translate into products to solve humanity’s materials shortcomings. He is also the founder and CEO of ConserWater Technologies, an artificial intelligence start-up helping farmers conserve water by using NASA satellite data, weather data, and geospatial deep learning techniques to predict irrigation water needs. He 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 (Carnatic) vocalist.

Anoma Bhat

Anoma Bhat is from New Delhi, and was raised in China, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S. She will pursue a master’s degree in international policy studies at 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 non-profit and public sectors as a leader in international aid policy. As a program officer in the Civil Society and Peacebuilding department of FHI 360, Anoma 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. She also spent six months in Jordan on the U.S. government’s Boren Scholarship, studying Arabic and working with Iraqi and Syrian refugees.

Suhani Jalota

Suhani Jalota, from Mumbai, plans to earn a PhD in health policy at Stanford School of Medicine. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and global health from Duke University, North Carolina, 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. 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. 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.

Aditya Vishwanath

Aditya Vishwanath of Chennai, will be pursuing a PhD in learning sciences and technology design at Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science. His desire is to have a career designing and building educational technology for use in underserved communities around the world. 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. 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. 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.




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