Four Indian-origin students among 58 Truman scholars this year

iNDICA News Bureau-

Four students of Indian origin have made to  2022 Truman Scholarship one of the premier graduate scholarships for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

(Top L to R)Amisha A Kambath, Eshika Kaul, (Bottom L to R) Avi Gupta, and Bhav Jain.

The four scholars Amisha A Kambath from California, Eshika Kaul from New Jersey, Avi Gupta from Oregon, and Bhav Jain from Pennsylvania were among the 58 Truman Scholars selected from 705 candidates nominated by 275 colleges and universities.

Established by Congress in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd President of the United States and a national monument to public service, the scholarship is awarded to college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in public service’ according to The Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Each of the 58 students, chosen from 53 colleges and universities in the U.S., will get $30,000 in funding for post-graduate studies. They will also get leadership training, career counseling and special employment opportunities in the federal government, the foundation said.

Kambath, Kaul, Gupta and Jain were among 705 names received from 275 institutions around the country. The students were nominated by their institutions based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement.

Amisha Kambath, who is studying social sciences and economics at Harvard University, is interested in the criminal legal system with a particular focus on the intersecting threads of economic opportunity, violence, urban economic development, policing and alternatives to incarceration. She intends to pursue a JD or a PhD to study the architecture of the criminal legal system and examine alternative models of economic policy to challenge existing paradigms of development.

Eshika Kaul is reading economics, peace and justice at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, weaving together economic theory and conflict transformation practices to understand ways to create sustainable institutional change. Her passion for harnessing the power of grassroots activism and coalition building to advocate for change stems from her successes in founding programs to support mental health and diversity initiatives in her hometown.

At Wellesley, Kaul is a leader in civic engagement, expanding service opportunities for students by establishing partnerships with local nonprofits. She plans to pursue a JD with the intent of challenging systemic injustices as a lawyer, community organizer and public servant.

Bhav Jain, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is interested in global healthcare delivery and transforming clinical care as a physician-policymaker. His research spans oncology delivery, health disparities, and health systems transformation, and has been published in outlets such as Nature Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Surgical Oncology, and American Journal of Managed Care.

Additionally, Jain engages with undergraduate students and physicians across 20 states through his nonprofit, The Connected Foundation, which forges intergenerational connections between youth and seniors, and partners with healthcare systems to support seniors transitioning from inpatient or clinical to home-based care.

Avi Gupta is studying political science and computer science with specializations in American politics and artificial intelligence at Stanford University. His background in AI engineering and public policy informs his passion for public service at the intersection of technology and policy.

Gupta wants to pursue a JD to harness law as a tool for crafting effective policy. He is particularly interested in combating political polarization by re-examining the role of social media algorithms in promoting misinformation.

Dr Terry Babcock-Lumish, executive secretary of the Truman Foundation and herself a 1996 Truman scholar, said, “The overwhelming interest in public service from this year’s applicants is inspiring.

“Recent years tested our nation with a deadly pandemic, an economic crisis, and a renewed call to address climate change, racial injustice, and the health of our democratic institutions.

“While these are trying times, Americans can take solace that a generation of action-oriented young leaders are already tackling today’s challenges with an eye towards bettering tomorrow’s world,” she said.

“As we pay tribute to the Truman Foundation’s president for over 20 years, Secretary Madeleine Albright, it is our responsibility to carry on her work as a tireless champion of democracy, human rights, and public service,” Babcock-Lumish added.