Ghanaian, Cyrus Buckman, a 2018 Earlham graduate with a degree in biochemistry, has been accepted into Stanford University’s prestigious Knight-Hennessy Scholarship program. He will be an M.D. candidate at Stanford School of Medicine, beginning fall 2020.
Buckman joins a celebrated cohort of 100 global scholars who have been recognized by Stanford as the kind of future leaders and innovators the world needs. He is the first Knight-Hennessy Scholar from Ghana and the first Earlham graduate chosen for the program.
Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive a free tuition scholarship for up to three years of study, including stipends to offset the cost of living and travel. Scholars also have access to exclusive spaces on campus where curriculum and learning experiences are offered, plus spaces for meals, quiet study, casual conversations, and group collaborations.
Buckman says the program’s values feel like a perfect extension of his Earlham education.
“When I was looking at graduate schools, I was looking for a community that valued diversity and issues related to social justice as much as me,” he says. “Earlham certainly opened me up to a world that I wasn’t used to as a boy growing up in Ghana and attending an all-boys school. My classmates at Earlham came from all over the world and had different faiths, backgrounds and experiences. The community supported me in a way where I could find my voice and make meaningful contributions to the issues that I am most passionate about.”
Earlham’s advising and seemingly endless opportunities to participate in research, internships and off-campus travel helped him stand out among other applicants for the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, Buckman says.
“The Earlham Center for Global Health and the opportunities they have for students really set me apart from other applicants and gave me the confidence I needed to demonstrate my interest in the medical field,” Buckman says. “My pre-health advisors didn’t forget about me when I graduated. As an international student, they gave me advice that helped me choose the right graduate schools to apply to for scholarships.”
At Earlham, Buckman was a regular volunteer at Reid Health not far from campus and benefitted from numerous job-shadowing experiences with area physicians that were supported by the College. He participated in Earlham’s inaugural global health off-campus excursion to Peru (pictured right) where he contributed to public health campaigns for families living in underserved communities, and learned about various medical techniques and procedures. He also earned a funded internship from Earlham at the University of Louisville Medical Center and conducted research related to obesity and cardiovascular disease. In 2016, he was co-president of Earlham Student Government.
After graduating last May, Buckman was hired as a product coordinator with the Global Environment and Technology Foundation, the same Virginia-based non-profit he interned with during the summer after his second academic year at Earlham. The organization advances sustainable development in African nations through partnerships and targeted action in the areas of clean energy and climate change, water and sanitation, sustainability, and health systems.
“At Earlham and in my current role, I have learned that I don’t need to be silent and that my voice matters,” Buckman says. “I gained the confidence I need to believe that I can make positive, meaningful differences, and I strive to do that as often as I can.”
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