Meet UConn’s 2021 Nominees for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships

Rhodes-Marshall Nominees - 2021
UConn’s 2021 Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship Nominees Katharine Morris and Shankara Narayanan


The Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships is pleased to introduce UConn’s 2020-21 nominees for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.  Congratulations to these outstanding young leaders.

Katharine Morris (CLAS ’20) is currently completing her Master of Public Policy as a Fast-Track student. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa as an Honors Scholar double-majoring in Cognitive Science and Anthropology. Her activism at UConn began as a Pack Leader for UConn’s Protect Our Pack Bystander Intervention Program before becoming an active member of UConn’s chapter of the NAACP, the University Senate Enrollment Committee, and the Solve Climate by 2030 Steering Committee among other groups. Katharine spent much of her time in the Experimental Anthropology Lab working under Dr. Dimitris Xygalatas, Prof. of Cognitive Science and Anthropology, and even traveled to Brazil to assist in research with Drs. Dimitris Xygalatas and Gabriela Pinto. In 2018, she conducted research at the NSF REU Comparative and Development Origins of Social Cognition site at Yale University under Drs. Laurie Santos, Yarrow Dunham, and Lisa Chalik. As a BOLD Scholar of the inaugural cohort of UConn’s BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, Katharine independently conducted research on Cross Cultural Engagement and Intersectional Activism Among UConn Affiliates for her Honors thesis and founded UConn Collaborative Organizing (UCCO) for social and environmental justice. As the UCCO president, she led successful collaborations with over 20 campus organizations, mobilizing hundreds of students, faculty, and staff, ultimately receiving the Cohen Student Leadership Scholarship, NAACP UConn Chapter Activist of the Year, and Donald L. McCullough Leadership Award. In the summer of 2020 she interned for the Rudd Center and InCHIP analyzing food insecurity data at UConn, evaluating health equity and policy in Hartford with Dr. Kristen Cooksey-Stowers, and researching the cultural appropriateness and efficacy of obesity interventions with Dr. Loneke Blackman-Carr — all while organizing for racial and environmental justice around the state. In hopes of spreading a culture of radical love and solidarity in activism, Katharine released a TEDxUConn talk titled How to Collaborate for Environmental Justice for the 2020 Patchwork conference. Today, she maintains her activism while working as a policy fellow and research technician for leading health equity organizations in Connecticut. Katharine is nominated for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Shankara Narayanan (CLAS ’21) is a senior political science and history major in the Honors Program from Farmington, Connecticut. A 2021 Phi Beta Kappa inductee and University Scholar under the mentorship of Professors Alexis Dudden (HIST), Frank Costigliola (HIST) and Alexander Anievas (POLS), Shankara has studied diplomatic history and international relations since his freshman year. He is a scholar of international security, a proud member of UConn Mock Trial and the Editor-in-Chief of UConn’s Undergraduate Political Review. With his chief interest in accelerating U.S.-China security competition, Shankara’s University Scholar research focuses on key moments when U.S. officials failed to predict China’s behavior in both countries’ bilateral relationship. He has pursued opportunities within the U.S. national security community as well, completing research assistantships with Professor Erica Marat at the College of International Security Affairs, at the National Defense University in the summers of 2019 and 2020, respectively. In 2019, his research focused on Russian special operations in North-Central Africa. He published his analysis of Russian irregular warfare with The Jamestown Foundation, a think-tank specializing in open-source security studies. In 2020, his research focused on the security impact of China’s ‘Digital Silk Road’ on Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific. A 2018 SURF Award recipient, Shankara analyzed the influence of Sir Halford Mackinder and Nicholas J. Spykman’s geopolitical realism on Dean Acheson, George F. Kennan, Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski under the supervision of Professor Anievas. He plans to pursue a J.D. and a Ph.D., continuing his work while pursuing a career in the Departments of State or Defense to influence international security policy. Shankara was nominated for the Marshall Scholarship.


To learn more about these and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”

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