Sanjay Kishore

This week Radford native Sanjay Kishore got some good news: he is the recipient of a major national fellowship called The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.


As a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow, Sanjay will receive up to $90,000 in funding over the next two years as he continues his studies at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He will also join a prestigious community of nearly 600 past recipients of the fellowship, including United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, leading artificial intelligence scientist Fei-Fei Li, investor and entrepreneur Zaw Thet and immigrants and children of immigrants in a range of fields from across the country and world.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a graduate school fellowship for outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants in the United States, announced their 2017 recipients.

Selected from 1,775 applicants, each of the recipients was chosen for their potential to make significant contributions to US society, culture, or their academic fields and will receive up to $90,000 in funding for the graduate program of their choice.

Born and raised in the Radford area, Sanjay is the youngest child of parents who emigrated from Hyderabad, India. Both of his grandfathers were Gandhian-era civil servants in the state of Andhra Pradesh who supported socialist land reform and helped operate medical clinics for the most vulnerable. Sanjay’s mother instilled the mantra, “Service to mankind is service to God.”

As a student at Radford High School, Sanjay pursued his interest in government and service, becoming the Youth Governor of the Virginia YMCA Model General Assembly.

After graduating, he went on to attend Duke University, where he designed his own major around the social determinants of health. After hearing a Congolese physician call on undergraduates to address civil war in the DRC, he helped lead a movement to change investment policy in companies sourcing conflict minerals from the region.

After college, Sanjay sharpened his policy skills as the Villers Fellow at Families USA, a progressive health advocacy organization, and started Commonwealth Covered, Virginia’s first student-run campaign to enroll individuals in health insurance coverage.

Now a second-year medical school at Harvard Medical School, Sanjay is taking part in a variety of activities outside of the classroom. Recently, he worked with fellow members of the Racial Justice Coalition at the school to advocate for affordable health benefits for a union of over 700 Harvard dining workers.

He aspires to use his clinical training to serve not just as an advocate for individual patients, but as the foundation for a career organizing for a more just society.

Sanjay’s elder brother, Sandeep Kishore, MD, PhD, is a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow in the Class of 2008.

— Submitted by

Nikka Landau

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