Karthikeyan pursues opportunities as Stamps Scholar

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Keerthin Karthikeyan, a University of Mississippi freshman with a strong passion for leadership, plans to excel in the political arena as an international lawyer or a government diplomat – a career to be launched thanks to support from one of the most prestigious awards available to college students.

Karthikeyan, of Oxford, is a member of the Stamps Scholar freshman cohort at UM this fall. The highly competitive Stamps Scholarship provides students’ full cost of attendance, as well as a $12,000 enrichment fund for unique educational pursuits, including travel, research, internships and academic conferences.

Stamps Scholars are chosen for their academic excellence, leadership experience and exceptional character.

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Karthikeyan is majoring in international studies, biology and public policy leadership, and his plans are to complete the three academic disciplines before attending law school.

“The Stamps Scholarship has opened several doors for me purely because of the title and the prestige that comes with it,” Karthikeyan said. “It’s allowed me to have the ability to chase any opportunity offered by Ole Miss without the fear of not being an acceptable candidate for that particular opportunity.”

The Stamps scholarships at Ole Miss are among the university’s elite awards, which also include UM’s longtime top academic awards of Newman and Carrier scholarships. UM made 20 scholarship offers for the 2023-24 class of freshman Stamps Scholars from 184 students nominated.

“We expect Stamps Scholars to be students who are outstanding academics, creative thinkers and leaders interested in serving the world,” said Ethel Young Scurlock, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. “They are passionate about learning and sharing their knowledge with others.

“Keerthin is an exceptional student, and we are delighted that he is now a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College,” she said. “Keerthin had offers from some of the top colleges in the country, and I believe the Stamps Scholarship played a major role in why he chose Ole Miss.

“He is already an engaged researcher and leader here, and we look forward to seeing the way he will continue to enhance our community.”

In addition to being a Stamps Scholar, Karthikeyan serves on the Associated Student Body’s programming committee and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi.

As the freshman continues to become involved on campus, he said he hopes to participate in organizations related to the Lott Leadership Institute and Croft Institute for International Studies.

Karthikeyan has received a number of other prestigious awards, including Academic Excellence National Merit Finalist, Academic Excellence Housing, Barnard, Mississippi Star Student, Chancellor’s Leadership and Gates Foundation scholarships, as well as the Mississippi Boys State Scholarship for Academic Excellence, the Eagle Scout Gold Award and the scholarship for children of faculty and staff.

Karthikeyan, who was valedictorian of Oxford High School’s 2023 graduating class, is the son of Premalatha Balachandran, principal scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research (part of the UM School of Pharmacy) and Karthikeyan Rathinavelu, owner and president of Thik and Thin Constructions LLC.

Ole Miss is one of six Southeastern Conference schools that award the Stamps Scholarship and hosts the nation’s third-largest Stamps Scholar cohort.