Two Duke Seniors win Rhodes Scholarships

DURHAM, NC — Two Duke University seniors were among the recipients selected for this weekend’s prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Qi Xuan Khoo and Shreyas Hallur were selected from many applicants from colleges and universities. Hallur received one of the 32 scholarships available to students from the United States, while Khoo received the only scholarship available to Malaysian citizens. The scholarships cover all costs for a two or three year course at the University of Oxford in England.

Recipients are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential, and commitment to service, among other things.

“I am very pleased to congratulate Qi Xuan Khoo and Shreyas Hallur on this extraordinary honor, which reflects their commitment to excellence and leadership in science and research,” said Vincent Price, President of Duke University. “We can all be very proud to call them members of the Duke community and I look forward to following their careers in the years to come.”

Originally from Phoenix, Hallur is both an AB Duke Scholar and a Nakayama Public Service Scholar. He will graduate with degrees in statistics and public policy. Hallur is interested in Medicaid policy and improving care for autistic people with intensive care needs through shared decision-making.

He is a board member of a private school that developed a novel, hands-on STEM curriculum to meet the educational interests of its autistic students. And at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Hallur initiated a program to create inclusive science learning opportunities for autistic children, which received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

At Duke, Hallur is a Bass Connections Researcher and Margolis Fellow in Health Policy and Management. He has also advocated for better campus accessibility through the Duke Disability Alliance, Duke Student Government, and Neurodiversity Connections. He has done extensive research on Medicaid reform in Massachusetts, Arizona and with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Hallur is also a student researcher at the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development.

He plans to pursue degrees in medical anthropology and evidence-based social intervention and policy assessment at Oxford.

Khoo, a Karsh International Scholar from Malaysia, is a senior pursuing a dual degree in Economics and Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. During his time at Duke, Khoo was actively involved in academic research at the intersection of economics and computer science. He has assisted professors in investigating US Medicare fraud, analyzing county-level COVID-19 policy, and building a data pipeline for North Carolina domestic violence shelters. As a researcher at Bass Connections, Khoo co-authored a paper on developing machine learning predictive models for COVID infections based on wearables data. He is also a Woodman Scholar at the Duke Economic Analytics Lab and an Arete Effective Altruism Fellow.

Outside of academia, Khoo co-founded and led Technify, an initiative that connects tech talent at US colleges with nonprofit and social enterprises in developing countries through pro bono tech projects. With seed funding from the US State Department’s Mission to Southeast Asia, Khoo and his team have launched 20 projects bringing together more than 80 volunteers with nonprofit organizations from Malaysia, Panama, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

He has also performed as a pianist in Duke’s chamber music program.

Inspired by various experiences of working on frontline digital transformation, Khoo strives to further explore the opportunities and challenges faced by developing countries at the intersection of technology and economic development. At Oxford, he is planning a master’s degree in Social Data Science, followed by a master’s degree in Economics for Development.

The Rhodes Scholarship was created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes.

The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the academic field and degree chosen (Bachelor, Masters or PhD). The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, provides a bursary to cover necessary expenses whilst in Oxford and during the holidays, and transport to and from England.

A complete list of this year’s award winners is available online at http://www.rhodesscholar.org.

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