Three graduates with FSI ties earn Rhodes, Mitchell scholarships

Two Stanford graduates with close ties to FSI’s centers have been named 2012 Rhodes Scholars. A third was selected as a Mitchell Scholar.

Anand Habib was a graduate of the 2011 CISAC honors program in international security studies and a 2010 Dachs undergraduate intern. Habib and Katherine Niehaus – who is now a research assistant for a CHP/PCOR project evaluating whether HIV medication increases the risk of cardiovascular disease – will study at the University of Oxford in England under the Rhodes program. 

Philippe de Koning, who will study in Ireland as a Mitchell fellow, wrote a manuscript about Japan’s defense and financial crisis with Shorenstein APARC faculty member Phillip Lipscy. Lipscy, a political scientist, was de Koning’s advisor through his undergraduate career and also advised him on his senior thesis. De Koning was also a 2010 CISAC honors student.

More about the scholars:

Anand R. Habib, 22, of Houston, Texas, is a 2011 graduate of Stanford, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology, with honors in international security studies. He plans to pursue a master's degree in public policy and in medical anthropology at Oxford.

Habib is working on community health programs at St. Joseph's Clinic in Thomassique, Haiti, under a one-year global health fellowship awarded by Medical Missionaries. The nonprofit organization is a volunteer group of more than 200 doctors, nurses, dentists, and others who work to improve the health of the poor in the United States and throughout the world.

In 2011, he won a Deans' Award for Academic Accomplishment, which honors extraordinary undergraduate students for "exceptional, tangible" intellectual achievements. One of the professors who nominated him for the award described him as a "superb critical thinker" whose work is characterized by "creative genius" and "mature insights," adding that he "exemplifies exactly the kind of deeply informed, pragmatic and caring leadership that the world needs and Stanford enables."

As a Stanford student, Habib worked on behalf of politically and medically disenfranchised people in India, Mexico and Guatemala. His field research internship in Guatemala’s indigenous region during summer 2010 was carried out under the supervision of Paul Wise, professor of pediatrics and FSI senior fellow, as part of FSI’s Dachs mentored undergraduate research program.  On campus, he turned the Stanford tradition of the annual Dance Marathon into a vehicle dedicated to addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic by engaging not only Stanford students but also local communities and corporations, raising more than $100,000. His exceptional work was recognized by his participation in the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in April, 2011.

Katherine "Kate" Niehaus, 23, of Columbia, S.C., earned a bachelor's degree in biomechanical engineering in 2010 and a master's degree in bioengineering in 2011 – both at  Stanford. Her class and research work focused on biomechanics and her interests lie in its applications to high technology entrepreneurship.

She plans to pursue a doctorate of philosophy in systems approaches to biomedical science at Oxford.

At Stanford, Niehaus captained Stanford's varsity track and cross country teams, won the Pac-10 5,000 meters, and won Academic-All American status. She also served as a mentor and tutor for students in low-income families.

Working with faculty in the Center for Health Policy, Kate led a project to evaluate how well newer HIV antiretroviral drugs work compared with older drugs.  Her work was among the first to evaluate comprehensively all of the trials of new drugs in treatment of experienced patients, and showed that these drugs have substantial benefits.

Philippe de Koning, 22, of Paris, France, earned a bachelor's degree in international relations at Stanford in 2010. He plans to pursue a master's degree in international security and conflict resolution at Dublin City University.

He is a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington, D.C. The nongovernmental organization works to prevent nuclear, chemical, and biological threats from materializing. De Koning is researching nuclear materials security and the U.S.-China dialogue on nuclear issues.

De Koning, who earlier was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, spent the 2010-2011 academic year at Hiroshima University in Japan. He examined various components of Japanese security policy, with emphasis on current evolution of Japanese Self-Defense Forces, policies on nuclear issues and approaches toward peacekeeping.

In 2009, he was a member of the Stanford delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.