Honoree

Raju Raval

AWARDS

Rhodes Scholar (2001)
Indiana University Bloomington
Truman Scholarship (2000)
Indiana University Bloomington

BIOGRAPHY

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Raju Raval was recruited to IUB with a four-year, merit-based scholarship as a Herman B Wells Scholar within the Honors Program. He earned many departmental awards, including an IU Science, Technology and Research Scholarship (IU STARS), and was an active leader in student organizations and community activities. Two years later, he went on to win a Truman Scholarship, a highly competitive merit-based award offered by the Harry S. Truman Foundation to some 80 college juniors nationwide planning to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or other forms of public service. Initially, Raval had planned to study only sciences at IUB, but after four years of high school Spanish, he placed into the third-year level and decided to expand that interest into the study of literature and culture. More intellectual curiosity led him to explore religions of the East and West, and he ended up with enough courses for a major in religious studies.

In 2001, Raval graduated from Indiana University in 2001 with a quadruple major in biochemistry, biology, religious studies, and Spanish, and won his third accolade; a Rhodes Scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship is widely regarded as the most prestigious international study award. Raval was one of 11 finalists from the Midwest and 32 winners nationwide, out of a pool of 950 applicants. He joined an international group of young scholars chosen from 18 other countries. While at Oxford University, Raval spent three years studying for a doctoral degree in molecular oncology, planning an eventual return to the United States to attend medical school, making use of his competence in Spanish as a doctor.

Raval credits much of his academic success to the Wells Scholars Program and to his advisors and professors throughout his years at IUB. Encouraged to pursue the study abroad option, he spent one summer taking courses at the University of London in politics and architecture, and another semester in Madrid studying Spanish poetry, theatre, modern literature, and the history of seventeenth-century Spain through literature. Under a portion of the Truman scholarship, he was an intern at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Raval also acknowledges his gratitude to his parents, Rasik and Chandrika, immigrants from India, who encouraged him and his sister Rupal, a law school student at Notre Dame University, to excel in their studies. The death of his physician mother after an eight-year battle with cancer helped crystallize his determination to become a cancer researcher and perhaps someday play a role in national health policy.