2 Indian Americans among 46 Marshall Scholars

Amar Bhardwaj (Photo: Jane Nisselson)

Two Indian Americans are among 46 college students from across the country chosen to receive the 2020 Marshall Scholarship, which provides financial support to outstanding American scholars to pursue graduate study in the United Kingdom in any subject at the academic institution of their choice. It covers the cost of two years of graduate study in the UK at a university of the recipient’s choice.

Amar Bhardwaj, a chemical engineering major at Columbia School of Engineering and an accomplished sustainability researcher and advocate, will use his scholarship to study at the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College in London. According to a press release issued by Columbia, Bhardwaj is “taking a multidisciplinary approach to the science, economics and policy of implementing renewable energy technologies.”

In Edinburgh, he will pursue an MSc in Energy, Society and Sustainability. Then, in London, he plans to lead a project in spectroscopy-based solar fuels research with a pair of leading experts in the field.

“My ultimate goal is to engineer solar fuels technologies that will be widely deployed,” the press release quoted Bhardwaj as saying. To best position my research toward implementation, I need to also understand the facets of sustainable energy deployment that exist outside the lab.” Bhardwaj has previously won the prestigious Udall and Goldwater scholarships.

2 Indian Americans among 46 Marshall Scholars

Praveena Fernes 

Praveena K. Fernes of Tulane University is an emerging public health professional with five years of broad experiences ranging from analyzing the impacts of government projects and corporate ventures on environmental health in rural Thailand to interning in community health action and policy in a New York kidney care center.

She has experience working in chronic disease prevention, healthcare systems, and environmental health and human rights. Currently, Fernes is conducting community-based participatory research using the Stanford Our Voice Model and a digital citizen science tool to examine assets and barriers to healthy living in dam-affected wetlands in Northeast Thailand.

The Fremont, California native will pursue a Master of Science degree at The School of Oriental and African Studies in Environment, Politics, and Development in her first year and a Master of Science degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Public Health in her second year. In 2018, Fernes earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Tulane University, where she graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with departmental honors. She was awarded a US Student Fulbright Grant in 2019 to pursue a research project in Rasi Salai, Thailand.

The Marshall scholarship is funded by the British government and was established in 1953 as a gesture of appreciation to the U.S. for the assistance it offered to the United Kingdom after World War II under the Marshall Plan. It is named for former U.S. Secretary of State and Army Gen. George Marshall.

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