DURHAM, North Carolina — Two Duke University seniors were among the recipients selected over the weekend for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.
Qi Xuan Khoo and Shreyas Hallur were chosen from numerous applicants from colleges and universities. Hallur received one of 32 scholarships available to students from the United States, while Khoo won the only scholarship available to Malaysian citizens. The scholarships cover all costs for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
Recipients are selected based on high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential, and commitment to service, among other attributes.
“I am delighted to congratulate Qi Xuan Khoo and Shreyas Hallur on this extraordinary honor, a reflection of their commitment to academic and research excellence and leadership,” said Duke University President Vincent Price. “We can all be extremely proud to call them members of the Duke community, and I look forward to following their careers in the years to come.”
A native of Phoenix, Hallur is both an AB Duke Scholar and a Nakayama Civil Service Scholar. He will earn degrees in statistics and public policy. Hallur is interested in Medicaid policy and improving care for people with autism who have acute care needs through shared decision-making.
He sits on the board of a private school that has designed a new hands-on STEM program to meet the educational interests of its students with autism. And at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Hallur launched a program to create inclusive science learning opportunities for children with autism that won a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
At Duke, Hallur is a researcher on Bass Connections and a Margolis Fellow in Health Policy and Management. Through the Duke Disability Alliance, Duke Student Government, and Neurodiversity Connections, he has also advocated for greater accessibility on campus. He has done extensive research on Medicaid reform in Massachusetts, Arizona and with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Hallur is also a research student at the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development.
He plans to pursue degrees in medical anthropology and evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation at Oxford.
A Karsh International Scholar from Malaysia, Khoo is a senior pursuing a double major in Economics and Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. While at Duke, Khoo was actively involved in academic research at the intersection of economics and computer science. He has helped professors investigate U.S. Medicare fraud, analyze county-level COVID-19 policy, and build a data pipeline for domestic violence shelters in North Carolina. As a Bass Connections researcher, Khoo co-authored a paper on the development of predictive machine learning models for COVID infection based on wearable data. He is also a Woodman Fellow at the Duke Economic Analytics Lab and an Arete Effective Altruism Fellow.
Outside of academia, Khoo co-founded and leads Technify, an initiative that connects tech talent from US universities with nonprofits and social enterprises in developing countries through pro bono technology projects. With seed funding from the U.S. State Department’s Southeast Asia Mission, Khoo and his team launched 20 projects involving more than 80 volunteers with nonprofit organizations in Malaysia, Panama, Thailand , the Philippines and Indonesia.
He has also performed as a pianist in Duke’s chamber music program.
Inspired by diverse experiences working on frontline digital transformations, Khoo aspires to further explore the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries at the intersection between technology and economic development. At Oxford, he plans to pursue a Masters in Social Data Science followed by a Masters in Development Economics.
The Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes.
The value of the Rhodes scholarship varies according to the academic field and the degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate) chosen. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university tuition fees, provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses during residence at Oxford and during holidays, and transport to and from England.
The full list of this year’s recipients is online at http://www.rhodesscholar.org.
Duke experts on a variety of topics can be found here.
Follow Duke News on Twitter: @DukeNews