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Campus & Community

10 from Harvard named Rhodes Scholars

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Nine U.S. recipients, one international; areas of study include higher education, philosophy, neuroscience

Nine Harvard College students will enroll at the University of Oxford next year as recipients of the American Rhodes Scholarship. A 10th student will join them as a recipient of the International Rhodes prize

The scholars and their areas of study:

Aishani Aatresh, from Saratoga, California, worked with emergency response in the New York City health and hospital system during the pandemic and then studied the dynamics of COVID with the global Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. She is a fellow at the Program on Science, Technology & Society at the Kennedy School. At Oxford, she will study nature, society, and environmental governance.

Suhaas Bhat will study mathematical modeling and scientific computing as well as international health and tropical medicine at Oxford. At Harvard, where he concentrated in social studies and physics, Bhat co-founded an organization that provides peer-facilitated group psychotherapy to students. The Marshfield, Wisconsin, native has worked as a machine learning researcher at Harvard and Duke.

Benjamin Chang, from Irvine, California, plans to study engineering sciences at Oxford to advance machine learning for synthetic biology. Chang studies chemical and physical biology and computer science at Harvard, where he also serves as co-president of OpenBio, a student-run laboratory focused on making biological research more accessible. He leads the Asian American Association on campus, and recently rowed across the Charles River in a giant pumpkin to raise money for OpenBio.

Isabella B. Cho is a senior studying English. She is from Wilmette, Illinois. A poet and Harvard Crimson journalist whose interests include campus free speech and the future of the humanities, she was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts as well as a finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. At Oxford, Cho will study education with a focus on higher education.

Mira-Rose Kingsbury Lee will pursue interdisciplinary bioscience at Oxford. The Cambridge, Massachusetts, native studies human evolutionary biology and history at Harvard. Her senior thesis focuses on the effects of industrialization on the gut microbiome. She was awarded the 2023 Harvard-Magdalene fellowship at Cambridge University for research that formed the basis of a pop-science book aimed at engaging the public on climate change.

Xavier R. Morales, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, studies applied mathematics and economics with a secondary concentration in philosophy. He serves as president of Voters Choose, an electoral reform organization on campus. At Oxford, Morales will pursue a degree in philosophy.

Lyndsey R. Mugford is a human developmental and regenerative biology concentrator. Her thesis examines how somatosensory dysfunction affects neurodevelopment in autism. She plans to apply this research to her study of clinical neurosciences at Oxford. Mugford has volunteered at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and performed in Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, where she was elected as the first female cast vice president in the company’s 178-year history.

Asmer Asrar Safi, who is from Pakistan, studies social studies and ethnicity, migration and human rights at Harvard College. His senior thesis is focused on Maulana Abdul Rahim Popalzai, a Muslim cleric known for leading peasant and labor movements in the Frontier Province of British India. Safi co-founded the South Asians for Forward-Thinking Advocacy and Research Initiative, and is particularly interested in bringing conversations from Pakistan to the global stage. At Oxford, he will study progressive political messaging in South Asia.

Lucy Tu is a senior from Omaha, Nebraska, studying sociology and the history of science. She is a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Kennedy School as well as the first undergraduate to be sponsored by the American Statistical Association for the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship. She plans to study socio-legal research and comparative social policy at Oxford.

Eleanor M. Wikstrom, from Oakland, California, is a social studies concentrator. She spearheaded efforts to get Filipino offered as a course at Harvard, and her own research focuses on the 20th-century U.S. system of English-only education in the Philippines as a form of epistemic colonialism. At Oxford, she will pursue studies in imperial and global history and in U.S. history.

Created in 1902 through the will of Cecil Rhodes, Rhodes Scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford. The 32 students selected from the United States this year represent 20 colleges and include 20 women. Harvard’s American Rhodes Scholars now number 394.

This year’s honorees will begin their graduate studies in October as part of a group chosen from more than 70 countries. A full list of U.S. winners can be viewed on the Rhodes Trust website.