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December 13, 1999
Four Indians Bag Marshall Scholarship
A P Kamath
Four Indian Americans are among the 40 students chosen from 28 colleges nationwide for the Marshall Scholarships, which helps American students study at British universities for two or three years. The chosen four are Nisha Agarwal, Sujit Raman, Alexander Vikram Rau and Jacob Chacko.
Chavi Keeney Nana, whose father comes from Pakistan, is the fifth south Asian on the list.
Established in 1953, the scholarships, named in honor of US Secretary of State General George C Marshall, are an expression of Britain's gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II.
Funded by the British government and administered by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, the Marshall Scholarship program has become the largest single program for Americans studying in Britain, and one of the most prestigious.
Over a thousand Marshall scholarships have been awarded, and recipients have risen to the top of all three branches of government. Among these are Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
Nisha Agarwal, a development studies major at Harvard University, is from Fayetteville (Syracuse), New York. She will study southeast Asian development issues at Oxford with a long-term interest in the work of international non-government organizations. She is a past secretary-general of Harvard's Model UN and a member of the Harvard International Relations Council.
Chacko is currently completing a degree in biology and gerontology at the University of Southern California. He plans to work as a physician with under-served inner-city populations and to make positive changes in access, cost and quality of healthcare delivery in these communities.
He will study philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford. He intends to qualify in both medicine and in the political and ethical background of modern health policy issues so that he can pursue a rewarding career in medicine and health policy.
Sujit Mundayat Raman, sociology major at Harvard University, is bound for the University of Bristol.
As editor-in-chief of the Harvard International Review, Raman continued honing his skills as a journalist. He wants to be a journalist and to concentrate on the concerns of minorities in pluralistic societies.
Raman loves rowing -- he was coxswain for the 1999 Harvard crew that won the national championship.
He was the organizer of a recent panel discussion on race and affirmative action. He chose Bristol because it is the leading center for the study of ethnicity.
Alex Vikram Rau, from Baton Rouge, now studying at Cornell University, is interested in physics, (his major), medieval European history, oceanography, Western Political Thought, music, and geology.
Oxford-bound Rau, plans to continue studies in quantum measurement and information theory. His interests include music, soccer and campaigning for Amnesty International as well as tutoring students learning English as a second language.
Chavi Keeney Nana of Ann Arbor, Michigan is studying at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
"I am deeply committed to finding workable solutions to the overwhelming problems created by forced migrations across borders," she says. She will study Development Studies and Refugee Repatriation at Oxford University.
She then hopes to study law and develop public policy in humane refugee repatriation programs. She has had on-the-ground training at a Kosovo refugee center in Germany, and as a counselor at the International Rescue Committee in Boston.
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