Kristina Correa (Image credit: Courtesy Kristina Correa)

Stanford senior Kristina Correa, an honors student in biology who is also earning a minor in computer science, has won a 2019 Rhodes Scholarship.

Correa is among the 32 American women and men selected for the scholarship, according to a weekend announcement by the Rhodes Trust.

The Rhodes Scholarships, which are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world, provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. Rhodes Scholars are chosen for their outstanding scholarly achievements, character, commitment to others and to the common good, and potential for leadership in whatever careers they choose.

At Oxford, Correa intends to pursue a master’s degree in integrated immunology and a master’s degree in computer science.

Also over  the weekend, two Stanford seniors – Ella Klahr Bunnell, an American Studies major, and Matthew Wigler, a political science major – won Mitchell Scholarships, which are awarded to 12 American students for one year of graduate study at a university in Ireland or Northern Ireland. A story about the students will appear in Tuesday’s Stanford Report.

Correa, 20, who grew up in Robstown, a small town in south Texas, immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her parents. As a child, she was enthralled by logic and nature. In high school science classes, she found they intertwined in biology research.

“I was eager to learn more about the microscopic processes driving the events I saw every day,” she wrote in her Rhodes application.

At Stanford, Correa has worked in several labs, including the Palmer Lab of Theo Palmer, a professor of neurosurgery, and the Bertozzi Group of Carolyn Bertozzi, a professor of chemistry. She wrote about her experiences in the labs in her Rhodes application:

“My work in Dr. Theo Palmer’s laboratory studying the possible connection of genetic risk factors and maternal illness to the development of autism sparked an interest in immunology. I began to challenge myself by taking graduate level courses in immunology, and my research projects started to complement and solidify the immunological theory I was learning in the classroom.

“An interest in further exploring human disease and immunity led me to Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi’s laboratory – a hub for understanding cell surface glycan contributions to disease. These glycans can promote the growth and survival of tumors, and my work in her lab focuses on understanding how sialic acid-containing glycans stop anti-leukemia immune defenses.”

Currently, Correa is writing an honors thesis related to cell glycans and cancer.

During her time on the Farm, Correa has been an active volunteer.

She has served as a counselor at a summer camp for children whose parents have or have had cancer – a project of the Ziff Center for Jewish Life at Stanford. She has also helped plan and run summer college workshops and field trips for low-income/minority high school students through a program of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford.

Eventually, Correa said she hopes to become a physician-scientist and professor.

“Most importantly, I want to serve as a mentor for Latino students pursuing careers in science and advocate for equity in science education access,” she wrote in her Rhodes application. “I find resilience and pride in finding new connections, both between communities and academic fields.”

International scholarships

Stanford students interested in overseas scholarships and Stanford faculty interested in nominating students for such awards should contact Diane Murk, manager of the Overseas Resource Center at, or John Pearson, director emeritus of the Bechtel International Center, at