Wake Forest student named Rhodes Scholar

By Kevin Cox
November 20, 2005

Wake Forest University senior Lakshmi Krishnan, a human rights activist who also studies the writings of Emily Brontë, has been named a Rhodes Scholar.

Krishnan, of Sugar Land, Texas, is among 32 Americans chosen by the Rhodes Trust Nov. 19 to study at England's Oxford University in 2006 as Rhodes Scholars. Krishnan and the other Americans will join additional Rhodes Scholars selected from districts around the world. At Oxford, she plans to pursue a master's degree in English literature. She is majoring in English and German at Wake Forest.

Krishnan is the tenth Wake Forest student to be named a Rhodes Scholar since 1986. At Wake Forest, she is one of the university's Carswell Scholars.

Her goal is to go to medical school. "I would love to work as a physician studying medical issues in the developing world," Krishnan said.

As president of Wake Forest's chapter of Amnesty International, Krishnan has focused on global AIDS and the human rights issues associated with it. She organized campus events addressing AIDS issues as well as other human rights issues including the death penalty and domestic violence. She worked as an intern with the non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights. While there, she researched the conflict in northern Uganda and its effects on HIV/AIDS transmission. She wrote papers to support the organization's Health Action AIDS Campaign. One regarding HIV/AIDS prevention was used to educate health professionals in Kampala, Uganda.

In 2002, Krishnan explored the connections between Emily Brontë's life and her novel "Wuthering Heights" during a summer research project in England funded by a Carswell grant from Wake Forest. Her paper is archived at the Bronte Parsonage Museum Library in Yorkshire, England. She is the editor of the Philomathesian Arts and Sciences Journal at Wake Forest.

Krishnan has also done research on the effect of Hepatitis C virus on liver tissue and has submitted a paper for publication.