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Vineet Diwadkar, GSD, talks about his “Modeling Mumbai” project

On Wednesday, November 19, SAI hosted its annual Summer Grants Opportunities Open House at Harvard. For students with an interest in pursuing opportunities in South Asia, this event was a unique chance for them to engage with previous grant recipients, internship site representatives, and SAI staff, to learn more about potential possibilities for in-region experiences.

The event kicked off with Program Manager Nora Maginn walking students through the nuts and bolts of applying for a SAI grantDivya Sooryakumar, HGSE, SAI Student Services Intern, then shared some examples of the diverse internship site opportunities available to students, ranging from engineering and design internships to curriculum design projects.

The attendees then had the opportunity to hear from three internship site representatives: Ryan Draft from the Harvard-Bangalore Science Initiative, Shaun Jayachandran, Founder of the Education Non-Profit Organization, Crossover Basketball, and Myriam Zuber of the FXB Center, a human-rights advocacy campaign.

The highlight of the evening was hearing from three 2014 grant recipients, Brenna McDuffie, Ian Maccormack and Vineet Diwadkar, who shared their diverse experiences from a SAI grant. Brenna, a senior at Harvard College, spent her summer in a Hindi immersion program in Jaipur, Rajasthan and was able to push her language skills to the next level. Ian Maccormack, a PhD candidate at GSAS shared his journey through Northern India and Nepal to recover ancient Buddhist texts for his dissertation research. Vineet Diwadkar, a master’s candidate at GSD, shared his project, “Modeling Mumbai”, an examination of the inherent tension between low-income housing and the demand for real estate in Mumbai.

All of the grant recipients repeatedly highlighted the value of the opportunity to be in the region enriching their respective fields of study, research and projects. The event highlighted the diversity of projects, approaches, and interest areas that SAI supports.

Read: SAI 2014 Student Grant Report


Divya Sooryakumar, HGSE, SAI Student Services Intern