Erinn Barcomb-Peterson
KU News Service

KU senior from Lawrence selected as finalist for Rhodes Scholarship

Thu, 11/09/2023

LAWRENCE — Sivani Badrivenkata, University of Kansas senior in pharmacy, has been selected as a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, which provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Sivani Badrivenkata, University of Kansas studentFinalists are invited to participate in interviews later this month, after which the scholarship recipients will be determined. KU students have previously won 27 Rhodes Scholarships.

Badrivenkata, from Lawrence, is the daughter of Dayakar Badri and Haarisa Valasa and a graduate of Free State High School.

After earning a bachelor’s in pharmacy, Badrivenkata plans to pursue a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry with the goal to teach and conduct translational research in academia with a focus on integrating biologics in formulations to address global health needs. She currently conducts research in the lab of Michael Hageman, Valentino J. Stella Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, to assess the viability/efficacy of lactoferrin to treat vaginal E. coli infections in pregnant patients to prevent neonatal sepsis.

Badrivenkata is a recipient of a spring 2023 Undergraduate Research Award, presented at the 2022 Kansas Pharmacists Association’s annual meeting and trade show, and participated in the 2022 summer Undergraduate Research Program within the KU pharmaceutical chemistry department. She is also the president of ResearchRx, a KU School of Pharmacy student organization that promotes scientific literacy, research involvement and careers in pharmaceutical research.

Badrivenkata currently works at Sigler Pharmacy in Lawrence and previously served as a speech and debate assistant coach at Free State High School. In summer 2021, she was a research intern for a prostate cancer clinical research project through KU Medical Center.

Additionally, she is a KU Global Scholar and a member of the University Honors Program, for which she serves as a program ambassador and previously served as an honors seminar assistant.

Badrivenkata has written poems that have been published in Kiosk Magazine, hosted an art exhibition at the Kansas Union Gallery in fall 2021 and had five paintings displayed in KU campus libraries through the 2022-2023 academic year. In 2023, she was also a KU nominee for both the Goldwater and Truman scholarships.  

The Office of Fellowships, a unit of Academic Success, coordinates KU's endorsement process and supports candidates for nationally competitive scholarships through the application process. Students interested in applying for these awards are encouraged to contact the office by email at Depending on other eligibility requirements, students may apply for these awards as graduating seniors or recent graduates. The next campus application deadline for these awards will be in May 2024.

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