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Two Canadian Harvard Seniors Tapped for Rhodes Scholarship, Joining Four Americans

Two Canadian Harvard seniors were awarded the Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University.
Two Canadian Harvard seniors were awarded the Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. By Shera S. Avi-Yonah
By Vivi E. Lu, Crimson Staff Writer

Two Canadian Harvard seniors were awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, the Canadian secretary of the Rhodes Trust announced Sunday, joining the four Harvard seniors announced as American Rhodes Scholars the day before.

Maya Burhanpurkar ’22 and Ramiz A. Razzak ’22 make up two of the 11 Canadian Rhodes recipients and will join over 100 Rhodes scholars from across the globe. The scholarship pays for recipients’ postgraduate studies at Oxford University beginning in October 2022.

Of the 11 Canadian scholars, Harvard and the University of British Columbia each produced two – tying for the highest number from a single school. Seven of the 11 recipients were women, in line with the record-high 22 women of the 32 recipients tapped for the American Rhodes Scholarship.

While the American Rhodes Scholar selection process took place virtually for the second year in a row, the Canadian committee hosted in-person interviews.

“That was actually something that I was super happy about,” Razzak said. “We got to do the whole cocktail event and then the interviews in person, which was just a really, really cool experience.”

“You’re just in a room with all kinds of really, really intelligent and kind people and you realize that once you’re at that stage, it’s a lot of luck involved,” he added. “I consider myself super grateful that it worked out.”

Razzak – who concentrates in Applied Mathematics and Economics with a secondary in Philosophy and hails from Brossard, Quebec – plans to study economic and social history at Oxford.

“One of my favorite quotes from John Maynard Keynes is — the famous economist from the 1920s and 30s – was that, a really good economist has to somehow juggle being a good mathematician, a good philosopher, a good historian, and a good politician or statesperson, and so on,” Razzak said. “That's something that I definitely want to bring to the type of research I do.”

Burhanpurkar — a Physics concentrator with a secondary in Computer Science who hails from Oro-Medonte, Ontario — plans to study theoretical physics, machine learning, and philosophy at Oxford. She said she felt “overwhelming gratitude” for the support she had during the application process.

“I was really grateful to have the opportunity to first study at Harvard, which I never really imagined I would get,” Burhanpurkar said. “I’m even more grateful to have the opportunity to study next fall at Oxford which is — I would have never expected this when I was in high school.”

—Staff writer Vivi E. Lu can be reached at

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