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Owen Queen Named 2024 Knight Hennessy Scholar

This post was originally published on the Division of Student Success’s website.

University of Tennessee graduate Owen Queen has been named a 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Among the most prestigious post-graduate fellowships in the world, Knight-Hennessy scholars are selected based on their demonstration of independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset. The Knight-Hennessy Scholarship provides full funding for outstanding individuals to pursue graduate studies at Stanford University.

headshot of Owen QueenQueen, who hails from Watertown, TN, is embarking on a journey to pursue a PhD in computer science at the Stanford School of Engineering. A May 2022 graduate of UT, Queen was a double major in computer science and mathematics where his undergraduate research spanned AI and data science in genomics, materials science, and epidemiology. After graduating, he joined Harvard Medical School as a research associate, pioneering models for therapeutic discovery and data analysis.

As a junior at UT, Queen earned the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship which is regarded as the most prestigious undergraduate STEM scholarship in the United States

“I’m incredibly humbled to receive this generous award and to continue my research career at Stanford. It is the culmination of years of hard work and mentorship from some of the most incredible researchers and individuals on the planet,” said Queen.

As the second Knight-Hennessy Scholar from UT, Queen follows in the footsteps of Tasimba Jonga, further solidifying the university’s reputation for nurturing exceptional and diverse talent.

“Mr. Owen Queen has truly stood out as one of the brightest students I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor, Professor of Mathematics, and Deputy Director, AI Tennessee Initiative Vasileios Maroulas. “His remarkable enthusiasm and dedication to research were invaluable assets to our team.”

“As an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, Owen completed advanced research tasks requiring extensive experience that we typically expect from senior graduate students,” said Konstantinos D. Vogiatzis, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. “His outstanding achievements and dedication place him at the top of his class, at both national and international level.”

Beyond his academic pursuits, Queen is deeply committed to serving underserved communities across the United States through his volunteer work with Remote Area Medical, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high-quality healthcare to those in need.

Reflecting on this remarkable achievement, Queen expressed profound gratitude to his mentors, research advisors, and collaborators who have played instrumental roles in shaping his journey. He extended heartfelt appreciation to his family for their unwavering support and belief in his potential.

“I would love to thank my research advisors from UT—including Scott Emrich, Vasileios Maroulas, Konstantinos Vogiatzis, and Christopher Strickland—for their guidance and mentorship during my undergraduate career, my mentors and collaborators at Harvard and MIT—especially Marinka Zitnik and Manolis Kellis—for pushing me to become a better researcher and scientist, and Laura De Furio and the team at OURF for their incredible support and encouragement during the application process.”

“Finally, I would love to thank my parents and family for believing in me and instilling within me the work ethic needed to pursue development of technologies that will radically benefit people’s lives.”

To explore fellowship opportunities or for support applying to nationally competitive awards like the Knight Hennessy scholarship, UT students can visit the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships website.

About the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

Established in 2014, the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship is one of the world’s most prestigious post-graduate fellowships, akin to the Rhodes or Marshall Scholarship. Designed to support visionary leaders who address complex global challenges, the scholarship provides full funding for exceptional individuals to pursue graduate studies at Stanford University.