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Duke Alumna Awarded Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

Award provides full funding for the graduate program of the student’s choosing at Stanford

Julie Uchitel Duke University alumna Julie Uchitel, Class of 2019, has been awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship.

The award provides full funding for the graduate program of the student’s choosing at Stanford University. Uchitel is the seventh Duke student to win the award. She will use the scholarship to pursue an medical degree at Stanford School of Medicine.

The scholarship was created through a gift from Nike founder Phil Knight, who seeks to educate scholars “who can out-think, out-work and out-care others.” 

Uchitel, from Southampton, Pennsylvania, graduated summa cum laude from Duke with highest distinction in 2019 with bachelors’ degrees in neuroscience and French. Since her graduation, she has been studying in the United Kingdom as the recipient of a Marshall Scholarship and a Cambridge Trust Scholarship.

She will graduate from the University of Cambridge this August with a Ph.D. in pediatric medicine. Specifically, her research is on developing new wearable brain imaging technologies for newborn infants in intensive care.

In addition to her interest in pediatric medicine and developmental neuroscience at both the clinical and basic science levels, Uchitel focuses on early childhood development and child rights. She has served as a consultant to the International Pediatric Association since 2018, and has worked on projects with the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

Uchitel’s interest in pediatric neuroscience was nurtured at Duke through research projects with the Department of Pediatric Neurology at Duke Children’s Hospital, Duke Department of Romance Studies, and the Duke Margolis Center on Health Policy.

In particular, she credits her development at Duke to Dr. Mohamad Mikati, Deborah Jenson, and Leonard White.

While at Duke, she was co-president of Duke’s Global Medical Brigades, where she traveled twice to Honduras to serve local communities; served as editor-in-chief of the Duke Student Global Health Review; and volunteered in science outreach to local girls through FEMMES.

“I am thrilled and beyond grateful to have been selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar,” Uchitel said. “I look forward to joining a cohort of global, multidisciplinary scholars who seek to develop creative solutions to the world’s most complex challenges. As I begin this exciting adventure, I am forever grateful to my family, friends, and many mentors at Duke and Cambridge who continually inspire me to use service and scholarship to build a better world for children.”

Duke students and alumni can receive support for opportunities like the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship from the Nationally Competitive Scholarships team at the Office of University Scholars and Fellows.