SUNY Stony Brook student Neha Kinariwalla awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

One of 40 US recipients.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Neha Kinariwalla, a senior undergraduate student at the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Stony Brook campus, is one of the 40 US-based recipients of the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship, an annual endowment which allows winners to pursue post-graduate studies at the famed English institution.

Neha Kinariwalla (courtesy of SUNY Stony Brook)
Neha Kinariwalla (courtesy of SUNY Stony Brook)

“Throughout my life, my aspirations have always been centered in improving the lives of others,” Kinariwalla said in a statement. “Being a Gates-Cambridge Scholar affords me the opportunity to explore aspects of sociology and medicine that can help me further my goal. It’s such an honor and incredibly humbling to be selected for this scholarship.”

Established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship was established in 2000 with a $210 million endowment, and is designed to allow students from outside the UK to study at the University of Cambridge. Tuition is fully provided to each winner of the scholarship and an allowance of 13,300 British pounds, and are also given access to travel funds as necessary. Countries that are generally among the highest in terms of number of recipients are the US, Germany, India, Canada, Australia, and China.

Kinariwalla is majoring in Sociology with a minor in International Studies, and is part of SUNY Stony Brook’s integrated eight-year medical program that grants students both a bachelor’s and M.D. degrees. She is part of Women in Science Education (WISE), and is involved with several extra-curricular scientific societies and organizations.

She will go to Albany, New York next month to accept a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. She was named URECA (a SUNY Stony Brook undergraduate research program) Researcher of the Month in August 2013, and, in 2012 received a Virtual Student Foreign Service Internship from the U.S. Department of State.

Additionally, Kinariwalla is the founder of The Humanology Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to destigmatizing illnesses around the world, and has worked as part of the Epilepsy Research Team at the John Radcliffe Oxford University Hospital (OUH), where she was working under the guidance of Dr. Arjune Sen. Her faculty adviser and mentor is Dr. Catherine Marrone, a professor in the school’s Department of Sociology.

Kinariwalla is the first student ever from SUNY Stony Brook to be awarded the prestigious scholarship. In a statement, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. said “As Stony Brook’s first Gates Cambridge Scholar, Neha is blazing a trail of significant achievement. She has already accomplished so much in her young career in academia, and she is an outstanding representative for our campus and her community. Neha epitomizes what is possible through perseverance and initiative; I am proud to know her, and look forward to seeing her back here on the Stony Brook campus after her experience at Cambridge as she pursues her medical education degree.”

A native of Sayville, New York, Kinariwalla emerged among the victorious 40 out of an original pool of nearly 800 applicants, all of whom have GPAs between 3.7 and 4.0 and incredibly competitive academic resumes. Twenty-eight of this year’s winners will pursue one-year master’s degrees courses, while the remaining 12 are going to pursue longer Ph.D. degrees.

Below is a video of Kinariwalla given a TEDx talk at the inaugural TEDxSBU in October of last year, for which she was selected to be a special presenter.

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