Fourteen New England students — including 10 from colleges in Massachusetts — were awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for 2024, according to the Rhodes Trust’s Office of the American Secretary.
This year’s class of scholars includes nine students from Harvard University, and one graduating senior from Williams College in Williamstown. It also includes two scholars each from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Connecticut’s Yale University.
The Rhodes Scholarship covers all expenses for two to four years of study at the University of Oxford in England, according to a statement Sunday from the Rhodes trust.
All told, 32 students from colleges across the country will pursue graduate degrees in social sciences, biology, physics, and the humanities in England next fall, Ramona L. Doyle, American secretary of the trust, said in the statement.
“They inspire us already with their accomplishments, but even more by their values-based leadership and selfless ambitions to improve their communities and the world,” Doyle said.
Beyond academic success, Doyle said, Rhodes Scholars should have “great ambition for social impact, and an uncommon ability to work with others to achieve one’s goals. They should be committed to make a strong difference for good in the world, be concerned for the welfare of others, and be acutely conscious of inequities.”
This year’s scholars were chosen from more than 2,500 applicants from nearly 250 schools. Each of the trust’s 16 American districts selected two winners from pools of at least 14 finalists, according to the release.
Suhaas Bhat, a Harvard senior from Wisconsin who studies physics and social studies, said he was “floored” to learn he had been chosen. He said he looked forward to studying alongside such a talented peer group.
“Everything I’ve ever done that I’m really proud of, I did in teams with friends — just incredibly brilliant, kind people that I’ve worked with,” Bhat said in a phone interview Sunday, less than 24 hours after he learned of his selection following a marathon day of interviews. “So the chance to go and study with people like that for a few more years is just really exciting.”
At Harvard, Bhat helped develop a peer-therapy program — enlisting the support and mentorship of university hospital staff — to help students battling feelings of depression. That experience helped springboard thoughts of becoming a doctor, he said.
At Oxford, Bhat will pursue a master of science in international health and tropical medicine, and he said he hopes to explore the role of artificial intelligence in medicine.
Another scholar, Cole Mason, is majoring in environmental studies and political science at Williams College, and he also worked as a researcher at Northeastern University’s Wylie Lab. There, he investigated the social and environmental impacts of trade secret chemicals used in hydraulic fracking fluid, Mason said.
Mason said he hopes to make a career in research after graduating from Oxford — where he will pursue master’s degrees in nature, society, and environmental governance and in public policy — but he said “it’s hard to plan so far in the future, given it seems like my whole life just changed.”