Engineering Student Is One of Three Duke Rhodes Scholarship Winners

December 11, 2001

Pavan Cheruvu, a triple major in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and chemistry, was one of three Duke seniors to win a prestigious 2002 Rhodes Scholarship. The awards were announced Sunday.

Cheruvu, of Tampa, has been involved in research on artificial hearts, and has helped develop a software model for a cardiac device. He has a 4.0 grade point average.

He spent a summer in southern India, where he worked in a community hospital as the organizer of a prevention campaign concerning sexually transmitted diseases. He is the senior editor of a campus magazine "Eruditio," a publication for undergraduate writing, president of the North Carolina chapter of the National Engineering Honors Society and has been an officer in Spectrum, the undergraduate organization that promotes diversity and cultural understanding on campus. He is also the organizer of the Duke cricket team, and has served as a patient advocate in the neurosurgery ward of Duke Hospital.

Cheruvu plans to do graduate work in biomedical engineering at Oxford.

Cheruvu and the other Duke winners -- Alexis Blane and Samuel Malone -- were selected from among 925 applicants at 319 colleges and universities throughout the country. Rhodes Scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, provide two or three years of study at Oxford University in England.

"Each one is an extraordinary person and thoroughly deserving of the award," said Duke history professor Peter Wood, who chairs the Rhodes Advisory Committee at Duke. "I think it's interesting that all three of them are A.B. Duke Scholars and, therefore, their academic and personal growth have been nurtured and encouraged from the time they arrived at Duke."

In addition to being recipients of A.B. Duke Scholarships, which provide four years of tuition based strictly on merit, all three students were recently named recipients of the Faculty Scholar Award, given by the Duke Academic Council in honor of general academic excellence.

Blane, of Charlotte, majors in English and biology. She helped start an undergraduate journal in the cognitive sciences called "The Duke Mind," and is interested in fields as diverse as neurosciences and poetry. She currently is writing her senior theses about novelist E.L. Doctorow and poet Adrian Rich.

She is involved in karate, has been president of the Volleyball Club and is a member of the Undergraduate Judicial Board. One summer she did Alzheimer's research on a Howard Hughes research fellowship; another summer she did relief work in Kosovo. She also has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa academic honors society.

According to Wood, Blane hopes to pursue a M.Phil. in English studies at Oxford.

Malone, from Zebulon, majors in mathematics and economics. Before arriving at Duke, he was an Eagle scout, winner of a statewide poetry contest and valedictorian at Enloe High School in Raleigh. At Duke, he's edited an undergraduate journal of science and technology called "Vertices,"and recently won first place in an international Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), the third time he's won such an award in MCM competition.

He has been involved in the publication of six scholarly papers, including papers on "Air Traffic Control" and "Determining the People Capacity of a Structure." He also has won the Goldwater Scholarship, a national award for science students, and is active in karate and distance running.

Malone plans to pursue a M.Phil. in economics through the Oxford Financial Research Centre.

Rhodes Scholarship winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.

Harvard had five Rhodes Scholars this year, the most of any university. Duke had the second-highest total. Duke has had a total of 33 Rhodes winners.