Scholarship Recipients

2019

Rising fourth-year University Student Jessica Harris has been awarded the 2019 Kishore Scholarship.

Harris is an Echols Interdisciplinary major from Fluvanna, Virginia, pursuing a self-designed program in Arts Administration, Youth and Social Innovation, and Drama.  Her degree program reflects her deep passions for the arts and service, and her activities around Grounds and in the larger Charlottesville community put those interests into action.  Harris is the founder of Empowered Players, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing young people with access to the arts and supporting transformative experiences through engagement with underserved communities.  Harris is also active in a number of arts organizations at the University—including Kids Acting Out, the UVA Arts Board, and the UVA Arts Council—and several other on-Grounds organizations.  In April 2019, the University wrote an article about her accomplishments.

Harris embodies the selfless service that the Kishore Scholarship seeks to recognize.  As one nominator observed, “Sometimes I marvel at how she manages to give so much of herself to theater, teaching, and kids—but if you try to ask her, she’ll shrug and brush the question off.  It’s what brings her joy and purpose.”

She works passionately to bring people together from different communities.  Recognizing that her own rural community is often underserved, Harris has worked to build ties to the University and the larger community.  Harris “knows that her own connection to the place she is from enriches the quality of teaching she is able to provide,” one of her nominators noted, and draws on her background to “build trust with community members.”

Harris is deeply committed to the University community and its members.  She has formed lasting personal connections with her peers, and she gives generously of her time and energies to support others.  Many of her contributions come away from organized groups or activities, enriching the daily experiences of those around her.  Harris has a passion for the University and displays an infectious enthusiasm.  In short, she has made the University a better place during her tenure here, and will leave behind a legacy of service, connection, and leadership.

Harris was selected from nearly 100 candidates nominated by students and faculty this spring.  On April 13, Kishore Scholarship Trustees interviewed finalists and then celebrated at the Fourth Annual K-Fest, a gathering of Kris Kishore’s family and friends to continue the fellowship and community he so lovingly and effortlessly created during his life.

The Kishore Scholarship aims to enable a rising fourth-year student to continue leading a life of public service that inspires others and brings lasting, beneficial change to the community.  As the scholarship’s fourth recipient, Harris will receive a $30,000 award toward her continued studies.

2018

Special Note: The Kishore community was saddened to recently learn of the unexpected death of Rehan while hiking with friends in Spring 2019.  In our short time of knowing Rehan, he left us with a deep impression of his amazing character and accomplishments.  We know that he will be missed by family, friends, and our community.

Rehan BaddeliyanageRising fourth-year University of Virginia student Rehan Baddeliyanage has been awarded the 2018 Kishore Scholarship.

Baddeliyanage is a Biomedical Engineering major from Sterling, Virginia. On Grounds, he devotes his time to organizations that foster community, such as Housing and Residence Life, Madison House, University Peer Advising Link, University Guide Service, Third Year Council, and will serve as a Class of 2019 Trustee.  Baddeliyanage also is a member of the Engineering Student Council and the Theta Tau Professional Engineering Society.

As one nominator states, “Rehan Baddeliyanage is profoundly dedicated to making the University a home for everyone. He emphasizes multiples avenues for success at UVa…empowering all people to be themselves and pursue their unique goals.”

Baddeliyanage strives to build an inclusive community – by advocating for diverse perspectives, promoting respect and trust, cultivating shared experiences, and facilitating connections between students. He is skilled at bringing people together to learn from one another and formulate positive, equitable solutions for a more cohesive community.

As an empathic listener and selfless advocate for others, Baddeliyanage spends countless hours helping students to identify their true aspirations and access the resources necessary to reach their full potential. He encourages students to challenge themselves through interdisciplinary coursework with an emphasis on the intrinsic value of learning, finding one’s own path, and contributing back to the whole of society.  Baddeliyanage offers a beacon to emulate. By unabashedly pursuing his own passions, he inspires others to follow suit – stewarding the University community toward its full potential as well.

For his unwavering dedication to learning and community servitude, Baddeliyanage was selected from an over 70 candidates nominated by students and faculty this spring. On April 14, Kishore Scholarship Trustees interviewed finalists and then celebrated at the Third Annual K-Fest, a gathering of Kris Kishore’s family and friends to continue the fellowship and community he so lovingly and effortlessly created during his life.

The Kishore Scholarship aims to enable a rising fourth-year student to continue leading a life of public service that inspires others and brings lasting, beneficial change to the community. As the scholarship’s third recipient, Baddeliyanage will receive a $25,000 award toward his continued studies.

2017

Rising fourth-year University of Virginia student Shannon Khurana has been awarded the 2017 Kishore Scholarship.

Khurana is a Cognitive Science and Philosophy major from Winchester, Virginia. She is deeply engaged in the University community through a number of student groups and activities on Grounds, including the Women’s Center, the Multicultural Leadership Conference (of which she has served as Co-Chair), the LGBTQ Center, and Nu Omega Iota, among others.  Shannon also works as a bus driver for the University Transit Service.  Khurana’s active involvement in the University is the manifestation of her deep, personal commitment to service, learning, and care for her fellow students.  One nominator described Khurana as “a tireless advocate for marginalized communities at the University of Virginia,” and others praised her dedicated but humble leadership and commitment to the larger cause over personal recognition.  In these and many other respects, Khurana perfectly embodies the ideals that the Kishore Scholarship seeks to honor.  Khurana was selected from among scores of nominees submitted by students and faculty this spring.  Kishore Scholarship Trustees interviewed finalists on April 22, and then celebrated at the second annual K-Fest, a gathering of Kris Kishore’s friends and family designed to continue the fellowship and community he so lovingly and effortlessly created during his life.

The Kishore Scholarship aims to enable a rising fourth-year student to continue leading a life of public service that inspires others and brings lasting, beneficial change to the community. Khurana is the scholarship’s second recipient; she will receive a $20,000 award toward her continued studies.

2016

Maggie Gratz KFest WinnerThird-year University of Virginia student Margaret “Maggie” Gratz has been awarded the 2016 Kishore Scholarship.

Gratz is a third-year Global Development Studies major from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. On Grounds, she co-founded Students Helping Honduras and is involved in Class Council, the University Guide Service, OneLess, the Women’s Club Basketball team, and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. As one nomination states, “Maggie Gratz is, without question, the most compassionate, kind and motivated individual I have had the pleasure of meeting at UVA. Maggie is an exceptional leader, because the sincerity of her heart emanates through … her every interaction.” Another nominator noted that she “is always willing to drop everything for a friend in need.” Gratz was selected from approximately 100 candidates nominated by students and faculty this spring. Kishore Scholarship Trustees interviewed finalists on April 16 and then celebrated at the first K-Fest, a gathering of Kishore’s friends and family designed to continue the fellowship and community he so lovingly and effortlessly created during his life.

The Kishore Scholarship aims to enable a rising fourth-year student to continue leading a life of public service that inspires others and brings lasting, beneficial change to the community. As the scholarship’s first recipient, Gratz will receive a $10,000 award toward her continued studies.