Kevan Shah ’22 Named Schwarzman Scholar

Shah is the first Muhlenberg student to receive the award, one of the most prestigious in the world.

By: Bill Keller  Wednesday, December 8, 2021 11:31 AM

News Image
Kevan Shah ’22 speaks to audience members at the launch of "Boundless: The Campaign for Muhlenberg." Photo by Kristi Morris, Littlewing Photography.

The Schwarzman Scholarship is given to exceptional student scholars from around the world and includes a one-year master’s in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The scholarly and cultural immersion program is among the world's most selective graduate fellowship programs and is focused on the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. 

The 2021 Schwarzman Scholar class includes 151 students from more than 100 universities worldwide; the applicant pool numbered nearly 3000 students. More than 700 Schwarzman scholars and alumni form a network that represents more than 35 countries and nearly 150 colleges and universities around the globe.

This year's Schwarzman Scholars cohort will pursue a one-year master's degree in global affairs, with a focus on leadership, China and geopolitics. The program is updated annually to include the study of current and future global affairs priorities. Scholars will be immersed in Chinese culture, complete internships, hear from thought leaders, learn alongside world-class faculty and experience hands-on mentorship opportunities, helping prepare them for a variety of leadership roles after graduation.

At Muhlenberg, Shah, a public health major and medical school prospect, founded End Overdose Together, a nonprofit designed to combat opioid abuse. With his mentor Chrysan Cronin, associate professor and director of public health, Shah secured a $100,000 grant to train Muhlenberg students and community members on the administration of naloxone, an emergency nasal spray that can reverse the life-threatening symptoms of an opioid overdose. The grant was the largest of its kind awarded to a single institution.

“This opportunity says far more about the Muhlenberg family—including invaluable mentors like President Kathy Harring, Dean Michele Deegan, Provost Laura Furge, Professors Chrysan Cronin, Mohsin Hashim, Christopher Herrick and Kammie Takahashi and Health Professions Advisor Cailín Pachter—than it does about me,” says Shah. “I am incredibly grateful to be part of this community.”

“I have been impressed not only with Kevan's obvious talents but also his authentic interactions with others, and cheerful smile and warm greetings every time I see him around campus,” says Furge. “We are very proud of his accomplishments, of the faculty and staff who have supported him and his peers on campus that have joined his work to reduce opioid overdose deaths.”

In November, Shah was named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholar and Marshall Scholar fellowships. Earlier in 2021, Shah was named a Goldwater Scholar, a Newman Civic Fellow and a Truman Scholar Finalist.