Kevan Shah ’22 Named Rhodes, Marshall Scholar Finalist

The awards, which are considered among the most exclusive and celebrated graduate fellowships, are among several Shah has been nominated for in recent years.

By: Bill Keller  Tuesday, November 23, 2021 10:54 AM

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Kevan Shah ’22 speaks to audience members at the launch of "Boundless: The Campaign for Muhlenberg." Photo by Kristi Morris, Littlewing Photography.

Shah has spent much of his time at Muhlenberg as an agent of change for the local and regional community. His work as a Dana Scholar and as a public health researcher with aspirations for medical school has shaped his perspective that no one person can be the answer to persistent societal problems. But by working together, as Shah has done with volunteers at Muhlenberg and beyond when he founded the nonprofit End Overdose Together, a community can work together to effect lasting change.

In 2020, Shah worked with Associate Professor and Director of Public Health Chrysan Cronin to apply for and secure a $100,000 grant that would support the training of Muhlenberg students and community members to administer naloxone, an emergency nasal spray that can reverse the life-threatening symptoms of an opioid overdose. In the two years since the grant was awarded, more than 2,000 individuals and 500 organizations have received this critical training.

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and most prestigious international fellowship. Rhodes Scholars are chosen for their exceptional scholarship, their commitment to their communities and their leadership potential. The international postgraduate award provides support for recipients to study at the University of Oxford.

The Marshall Scholarship grants an American student an opportunity for postgraduate study in any university in the United Kingdom. The program was founded in 1953 as a sign of gratitude and recognition to former Secretary of State George C. Marshall and the economic recovery plan he championed to rebuild western Europe following World War II.

“I’m excited by the doors that have opened during my time at Muhlenberg and the many more that could open through these scholarships, Shah says. They not only provide an opportunity to really step away for a year or more to understand some of our most pressing issues in a global context but also immerse you in a new culture.”

“Kevan is an exceptionally talented student who has recognized the possibilities at Muhlenberg to initiate change, not just on campus, but in our wider community," says Michele Deegan, dean of academic life. "With the help of a faculty member and community contact, Kevan was able to turn a class-based research project into a successful grant and nonprofit organization. Kevan's passion to address the opioid epidemic has led him to recognize the need for him to attend a graduate program that will help to further develop his leadership skills so that he can more effectively impact this crisis. His successful applications to multiple postgraduate awards speak to his diligence and commitment to a career focused on addressing this significant public problem.”

Shah was also recently named a finalist for the Schwarzman Scholar award and nominated for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The Schwarzman program is awarded to student scholars from around the world and includes a one-year master’s in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. The scholarly and cultural immersion program is among the world's most selective graduate fellowship programs. Founded in 2000, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship is awarded to outstanding graduate students for study at the University of Cambridge; successful applicants must demonstrate scholarship and intellectual ability, a commitment to improving the lives of those in their community and beyond and a high degree of leadership potential.

Earlier this year, Shah was named a Goldwater Scholar and a Newman Civic Fellow. He was also a Truman Scholar Finalist, one of just 193 students chosen for their commitment to public service and civic scholarship.