Stanford seniors Maya Krishnan, Emily Witt awarded Rhodes scholarships

Nov. 23, 2014, 12:14 p.m.

Maya Krishnan ’15 and Emily Witt ’15 were announced as American Rhodes Scholars-elect for 2015 in a press release from the Rhodes Trust on Nov. 22.

Both report discovering the good news to be a memorable experience.

“I was shocked. It’s hard to believe that I received such an honor. [It’s] such an incredible opportunity to study at Oxford,” Witt said.

Witt, a Colorado native and Rhodes District 13 winner, is majoring in human biology with a minor in psychology. At Oxford, she plans to complete an M.Sc. in Neuroscience and M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology by Research. According to Witt, the neuroscience program is a taught program with a curriculum that is followed by research modules with Oxford researchers. The experimental psychology program is research driven, and will ultimately result in something resembling a dissertation.

Witt is a Human Biology student adviser, member of the anti-genocide organization Stanford STAND and works with Arbor Free Clinic and the Haas Center. She is writing a senior thesis about the immunomodulatory mechanisms of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis in the Steinman Lab. She has also conducted research in the the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research exploring the use of neurofeedback as a therapeutic intervention for autism. In addition, she conducted field research in Guatemala on social determinants of chronic malnutrition.

Krishnan, a Maryland native and Rhodes District 5 winner, is majoring in philosophy with minors in computer science and classics. She is planning to complete an M.St. in Theology and M.Sc. in Social Sciences of the Internet at Oxford, according to the Rhodes Trust.

“Studying at Stanford has made me aware of the way that fast-paced changes in computing are having an enormous impact on all aspects of society, and what I’m hoping to do with my time at Oxford is to gain more of the skills I need to understand that impact,” she said.

She is currently writing a senior thesis on the relationship between mathematics, meaning and history in Kant. Krishnan was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as junior and was a Deans’ Award recipient this spring.

Krishnan also notes that she is a technical developer for POLIS, a collaboration between the Classics Department and the Department of Political Science that allows users to create maps and statistical information relating to Greek and Roman History.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Stanford and to all of my professors here for the absolutely incredible support they’ve provided over the last several years,” Krishnan said.

Stanford’s Rhodes Scholar count now stands at 114.

Contact Alice Phillips at alicep1 ‘at’ and Skylar Cohen at skylarc ‘at’


This post has been updated to reflect changes to the information printed on the Rhodes website and to correct the article’s previous representation of the Center for Interdisciplinary Brian Sciences Research as being part of the Steinman Lab. It is not, and The Daily regrets this error.

Alice Phillips '15 is Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. Previously, she worked as the paper's Deputy Editor, Chief Copy Editor, a News Desk Editor and a News Staff Writer. Alice is a biology major from Los Angeles, California.

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