Student from Monte Sereno one of three from Stanford named Rhodes Scholars

Joe Rodriguez

Varun Sivaram can joke today about missing the cut for Saratoga High School's golf team four years in a row, and he admits he "can't shoot a basketball to save my life."

But boy, he can dance and do other stuff, like solar-cell research. And these days, dance, brains and a promising career in global energy policy can win a prestigious prize once reserved for student-athletes -- a Rhodes scholarship.

Sivaram, who grew up in Monte Sereno and is now a senior at Stanford University, won the prestigious scholarship Saturday after a final round of grueling interviews in San Francisco. He was sitting in a room watching the Big Game between Stanford and UC Berkeley on TV, waiting for the results.

"I was pumped up," he said.

Stanford won big, 48-14.

Sivaram won bigger.

As one of 32 American students chosen this year -- and just over 300 since 1904 -- he will study energy policy and materials science at Oxford University in England. The list of notable alumni include the astronomer Edwin Hubble, Sen. Bill Bradley, who was a basketball star in college and the pros, and former President Bill Clinton.

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