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Students Recieve 2 Fulbright, Marshall Scholarships

By Rishi Shrivastava
Staff Reporter

Three MIT students recently won scholarships for study in a foreign country.

Rahul T. Rao '94, an electrical engineering major, received a Marshall scholarship. The scholarship pays all expenses for study at any British university for two years. Rao plans to pursue a second bachelor's degree in the Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology Program at Oxford University.

The competition for the Marshall scholarship is keen; 36 scholarships were awarded out of 1,000 applicants this year, Rao said.

Universities nominate students to a national committee. Based on written applications and essays, the committee chooses 100 finalists. After a final interview, the scholars are chosen.

Both academic performance and extracurricular involvement are considered for selection, Rao said.

Rao has pursued many research activities throughout his MIT career. He is currently working at the Center for Cancer Research. He has also worked for Texas Instruments, the Injury Analysis Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with the human genome project.

Rao worked as a volunteer in developing an electronic system to help autistic children learn more effectively, and he participated in projects for Cambridge school children, he said. He is also the vice-president of the MIT chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.

In the future, Rao said he hopes to pursue an MD/PhD program and "would like to combine a career in academic medicine and public policy."

In addition, he would like to apply his electrical engineering background to "bring new perspectives to problems in medicine." He continued, "I feel that effective health care technologies can only be delivered when the science and engineering is combined with the true needs of a patient."

Rao feels that his Oxford education will enable him to deal with issues he will confront in public policy work. "I hope to develop the social and humanistic aspects of my thinking. ... I think these aspects of an education are important in medicine and a necessity for pursuing any work in public policy."

Rao encourages MIT students to apply for the Marshall scholarship. He feels that many people avoid applying because they think they lack a strong humanities background. "I think there are many well-qualified people at MIT who could get this scholarship. You just need to convince [the scholarship committee] that a technical background is a great asset and be able to convincingly communicate your views."

Gregory McMahan '93, a chemical engineering major, and Gerald A. McDermott G, both won Fulbright scholarships. According to Tech Talk, McMahan is currently studying physical science in Osaka, Japan, while McDermott is studying political science in Prague, located in the Czech Republic.