90 new Knight-Hennessy Scholars include seven of Indian descent

In a remarkable display of global talent, seven Indian-origin students stand out among the 90 newly inducted Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University for the year 2024, marking the largest cohort to date. Hailing from 30 different countries, these scholars will embark on their academic journeys across 45 graduate programs spanning all seven graduate schools at Stanford, as announced by the university.

The Indian-origin scholars making waves in this prestigious cohort include Ank Agarwal, Wasan Kumar, Aneesh Pappu, Isha Sanghvi, Kritika Singh, Krishna Pathak, and Rahul Penumaka.

Ank Agarwal, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, is pursuing a dual MD/PhD program in cancer biology at Stanford School of Medicine, where his research interests converge at the intersection of cancer biology, dermatology, and health equity.

Wasan Kumar, originally from Skokie, Illinois, is delving into an MD/MBA program at Stanford’s School of Medicine and Graduate School of Business, leveraging his neuroscience background to tackle healthcare quality and accessibility through innovative policies and technologies.

Aneesh Pappu, a distinguished Marshall Scholar with degrees from Stanford, University College London, and the University of Cambridge, is currently pursuing a PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford’s School of Engineering, exploring the interplay between artificial intelligence, privacy, and policy.

Isha Sanghvi, a native of Fremont, California, is blending her passions for medicine, entrepreneurship, and social impact as she pursues an MD at Stanford’s School of Medicine, with a particular focus on women’s health and trauma-informed care.

Kritika Singh, hailing from McLean, Virginia, is committed to revolutionizing global healthcare through innovative technologies, leveraging her background in bioengineering and extensive research experience as she pursues an MD at Stanford’s School of Medicine.

Krishna Pathak, from Carmel, Indiana, brings a wealth of experience from the White House National Security Council, advising on foreign policy and technology. Currently a JD candidate at Stanford Law, Pathak is deeply involved in bilateral diplomacy and congressional work on national security.

Rahul Penumaka, representing Hyderabad, India, is focusing his efforts on translational research and applied medicine at Stanford’s School of Medicine, aiming to address the global burden of cardiovascular disease through innovative diagnostics and therapeutics.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, a multidisciplinary, multicultural graduate fellowship initiative encompassing all seven schools at Stanford University, provides up to three years of financial support for scholars to pursue their graduate studies while engaging in experiences aimed at cultivating visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders who can confront the world’s most pressing challenges.

John L. Hennessy, Stanford University president emeritus and the Shriram Family Director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, expressed his optimism for the future with each new cohort of scholars, emphasizing the increasing complexity of global challenges, which underscores the importance of the program’s mission.

As the seventh cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars joins the ranks, the total count rises to 514 since the program’s inception in 2018, reflecting a diverse array of perspectives and backgrounds contributing to the community’s growth and knowledge exchange across disciplines, cultures, and ideologies.

Looking ahead, the application process for the 2025 cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars is set to open on June 1, 2024, with no quotas or restrictions based on region, college or university, field of study, or career aspiration, underscoring the program’s commitment to inclusivity and excellence.

Established in 2016 and named in honor of Phil Knight, MBA ’62, philanthropist and co-founder of Nike Inc., and John Hennessy, chairman of Alphabet Inc. and Stanford president emeritus (2000-2016), Knight-Hennessy Scholars stands as the largest, university-wide, fully-endowed graduate fellowship program in the world.