University of Georgia

Mallory Harris named UGA’s first Knight-Hennessy Scholar

The University of Georgia added another scholarship to its list of firsts this winter with the addition of alumna Mallory Harris as the institution’s first Knight-Hennessy Scholar. The international graduate-level program provides full funding for students as they pursue studies at Stanford University.

Established in 2016, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program funds graduate studies ranging from medicine to law to doctoral programs as well as joint- and dual-degrees. The 2019 cohort—the second cohort of scholars—includes 68 students. They were chosen from 4,424 applicants and represent 20 countries.

The program is designed to prepare students to take leadership roles in finding creative solutions to complex global issues.

“Mallory adds such a spark to whatever she touches and is engaged with,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the Honors Program. “She is a delight to work with. I am very proud of Mallory, and I look forward to watching her further accomplishments in the future.”

Harris graduated from UGA in May 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computational biology along with a Spanish minor and an interdisciplinary writing certificate. A Dunwoody native, she was a Goldwater Scholar, an Honors student and a Foundation Fellow.

She will pursue a Ph.D. in biology at the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. As a researcher and teacher, Harris plans to support a shift from reactionary to preventive approaches to epidemiology.

Harris has conducted research on vector-borne disease systems with John Drake, director of the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases and distinguished research professor in the Odum School of Ecology. She researched climate drivers of the Zika virus with Erin Mordecai, a UGA alumna and assistant professor of biology at Stanford University. She also composed a research-based policy proposal for improving sex education in rural Georgia through the Roosevelt Institution.

She was a communications intern at Girlology, managing social media and online advertising; coached an all-girls math team; was president of Students for Gun Safety; was a head coach for MATHCOUNTS Outreach; developed a math intervention program and enrichment lessons for Barrow Elementary School in Athens; and was a CURO research assistant. Harris studied abroad at the University of Oxford in England and the University of Montevideo in Uruguay.

After graduation, Harris worked on the congressional campaign for U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, attended the Voting Rights Data Institute, and is currently operations director for Maura’s Voice, a foundation that funds research on gun violence.

UGA’s major scholarships coordinator, housed in the Honors Program, provides students from across campus with assistance as they apply for national, high-level scholarships. For more information, contact Jessica Hunt at or 706-542-6206 or visit the Honors Program site.