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Rhodes Scholarships go to three with Stanford ties; Stanford grad wins Mitchell Scholarship

Fatima I. Sabar and Varun Sivaram, both seniors at Stanford, and Fagan Harris, ’09, are among the 2011 American Rhodes Scholars.  David Gobaud, a 2010 Stanford graduate, has received a George Mitchell Scholarship.

BY ELAINE RAY

Two Stanford seniors and a member of the Stanford class of 2009 are among 32 American men and women who have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships for 2011.  The awards were announced Nov. 20. 

Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, and may allow funding in some instances for four years.

The newly minted Stanford American Rhodes Scholars are Fatima I. Sabar and Varun Sivaram, both seniors, and Fagan Harris, ’09. In addition, David Gobaud, who graduated from Stanford in June, has received a George J. Mitchell Scholarship.

They are:

Fatima I. Sabar, a senior majoring in biology, plans to pursue a master's degree in global health at Oxford.  According to the Rhodes press release, she has worked on health projects in Mexico and Rwanda, done volunteer work at the Pacific Free Health Clinic; coordinated World AIDS Week at Stanford and is coordinating a health education project for migrant farm workers in Salinas Valley.

Varun S. Sivaram, a senior majoring in engineering physics and international relations, plans to pursue a doctorate in solar energy materials at Oxford. Named a Truman Scholar earlier this year, he is chair of the undergraduate senate, undergraduate representative to the Board of Trustees and to the Faculty Senate. Sivaram has conducted engineering research in Germany and at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and has two patents pending relating to solar energy design.

Fagan E. N. Harris, who graduated from Stanford in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and American studies, is currently completing a master’s degree at the University of Limerick in Ireland as a Mitchell Scholar.

Harris was vice president of the ASSU and president of Stanford Students for Relief, where his efforts focused on Pakistan and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Harris plans to pursue a doctoral degree in education at Oxford.

The 32 Rhodes Scholars chosen from the United States will join an international group of scholars chosen from 14 other jurisdictions around the world. Approximately 80 Rhodes Scholars are selected worldwide each year, including several non-U.S. scholars who have attended American colleges and universities.

Mitchell Scholar

David Gobaud, who graduated in June with a degree in computer science, has been named one of this year’s George J. Mitchell Scholars. Gobaud, former president of ASSU, also founded Students for Relief in Haiti, a student organization dedicated to long-term relief efforts and education following the devastating earthquake there. He is currently an intern at the White House Council of Economic Advisers and is interested in the restorative justice approach Northern Ireland has taken to youth criminal justice. He plans to study human rights in criminal justice at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Gobaud is one of 12 Mitchell Scholars chosen for the program, which provides one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by universities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The scholarship is administered by the U.S.-Ireland-Alliance and was named in honor of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Full interviews of the winners will be published in Stanford Report later this week.