Four Indian-Americans chosen as Rhodes Scholars

The scholarships will provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University Oxford and may allow funding in some instances for four years.

Supriya Singh

From left to right- Aishani Aatresh, Mrinalini S. Wadhwa, Suhaas Bhat and Nayantara K. Arora /

Four Indian-Americans Mrinalini S. Wadhwa, Aishani Aatresh, Suhass Bhat and Nayantara K. Arora have been chosen as Rhodes Scholars. The scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, enable outstanding young people from around the world to undertake full-time postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.

Mrinalini S. Wadhwa is a senior majoring in history and mathematics at Columbia University. She is co-editor-in-chief of multiple student journals, including the Columbia Journal of Asia, which she co-founded. She has won fellowships to support research in archives around the world, including in India, France, and the United Kingdom, and is the current chair of the Columbia History Association. 

Wadhwa also co-founded a program  providing a three-year English curriculum for low-income Indian students in New Delhi. At  Oxford, she will pursue an M.Phil. in modern European history. 

Suhaas Bhat is a senior at Harvard University, majoring in Social Studies and  Physics. On campus, he co-founded an organization that provides peer-facilitated group psychotherapy to students. Bhat has developed machine learning models for designing novel  drugs. He helped organize Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, resulting in the university divesting its  endowment from the fossil fuel industry. 

At Oxford, he will pursue an M.Sc. in mathematical modeling and scientific computing and an M.Sc. in international health and tropical medicine. 

Nayantara K. Arora is a senior at the University of Oregon, Clark Honors College,  where she majors in neuroscience, with minors in global health and chemistry. She conducts  research in two areas: global health biomarkers in Tunisia and the relationship between the vasculature and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Arora is a Stamps scholar, Phi Beta Kappa Public Service scholar. At Oxford, she will pursue an M.Sc. in modelling for global health and M.Sc. in international health and tropical medicine. 

Aishani Aatresh is a senior at Harvard College where she is majoring in complex  biosocial systems. She is also a fellow at the program on science, technology and society at  the Kennedy School of Government, where she balances research in preventing infectious  diseases with a commitment to global public health. 

During the global pandemic, she worked  with the New York City health and hospital system emergency response and then undertook  studies to understand the dynamics of COVID-19 with the global coalition for epidemic preparedness innovations. She has plans to complete an M.Phil. degree in nature, society and environmental governance at Oxford.

Describing this year’s class Ramona L. Doyle, American secretary of the  Rhodes Trust, said, “This year’s Rhodes Scholars representing the United  States–elected by 16 independent committees around the country meeting simultaneously– will go to Oxford University in England in October 2024 to pursue graduate degrees across  the breadth of the social sciences, humanities, and biological and physical sciences.”