The Mittal Institute recognizes that as a result of COVID-19, we have all had to make adjustments to our daily lives. We also know that students are doing their best under the circumstances to continue learning in new and creative ways. In light of this, we’re offering a one-time SFC Exploratory Grant to students who are currently working on ideas or a project that addresses intractable problems in India and Pakistan.
Category : Students
The Mittal Institute’s interns each have the drive and ambition to serve their communities and perform research to advance the greater good of our increasingly linked world. Their unique experiences and skills have been invaluable to our team, and we’d like to take the time to recognize and thank our graduating interns. Today, we’re introducing Preksha Singh, who will graduate this month with an Ed. M degree focusing on Mind, Brain, and Education. Originally from Navi Mumbai, India, Preksha came to Harvard in the fall and quickly became an asset to our team.
This past winter break, with the support of the Mittal Institute, my classmate Jay and I ventured on a three-week journey through India. We hopped on a 16-hour flight from JFK to Mumbai the night after our last final, excited to hit the ground running. I couldn’t have imagined how enriching and fun our adventure would turn out to be. We were traveling to South Asia to meet with engineers, clinicians, and entrepreneurs to discuss medical technology innovation.
The Mittal Institute’s interns come from diverse places and backgrounds, yet each share the drive and ambition to serve their communities and perform research to advance the greater good of our increasingly linked world. Their unique experiences and skills have been invaluable to our team, and we’d like to take the time to recognize and thank our graduating seniors. Although they will not be walking, it is more important than ever to share their stories and accomplishments. Introducing: Alex Indira Sanyal! A Boston native, Alex will be graduating this month with a Masters in Design Studies (MDes) in Critical Conservation from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. We caught up with Alex to learn more about her experience as a graduate student at Harvard, and how her graduate research and life as a student have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coming from diverse places and backgrounds, the Mittal Institute’s interns offer unique experiences and skills that have been invaluable to our team. Please join us in taking the time to recognize and thank our graduating seniors. Although they will not be walking, we’d like to give them a stage upon which to share their story and accomplishments. Introducing: Yashada Wagle! Yashada will be graduating with a Masters in Design Studies (MDes) from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She came to Cambridge two years ago from her home in Pune, India.
For my dissertation project, I hope to trace the stories of Tamil drama artists, as they traveled, performed, and lived between 20th century Madras Presidency, Ceylon, and British Malaya. This winter, I went on a research trip to Madurai and Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to understand the infrastructures that supported these artists’ travels, as well as the kinds of performances they held abroad.
The Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program began in 2017, a joint effort between the Harvard Business School Club of the GCC, HBS Professors Tarun Khanna and Karim Lakhani, and the Mittal Institute. This year, the Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program received 6,093 total applications from 97 countries spanning the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, South Asia, and US students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
With the support of the Winter Travel Grant, I traveled through Bangladesh for over 30 days during December 2019 and January 2020. I was accompanied by my research partner, John David Wagner, an Irving Innovation Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. During our trip, we carried out extensive field research in Bangladesh to inquire if the very nature of the spatial quality of refugee camps contributes to keeping the inhabitants of these urban dwellings marginalized for many generations.
Each month, the Mittal Institute’s Graduate Student Associates (GSAs) meet to discuss their latest work on South Asia, spanning various disciplines — from politics to religion and the arts — and providing feedback on one another’s dissertations, articles, and more. Led by Head Graduate Student Associates Aiden Milliff (Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, MIT), Blair Read (Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, MIT), and Akshay Dixit (Ph.D., Political Economy, Harvard), the group of about 20 members from schools across Boston provide support and new insights to one another as they work through their studies.
Over the last three weeks of my winter vacation, I traveled to Hindu temples throughout South India, with the goal of understanding the inspirations and motivations that drove musicians to compose about the idols worshipped at these establishments. Starting from the Eastern temple city of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, I snaked along the Eastern coast of the Indian peninsula, ultimately arriving to the country’s southern tip at Kanyakumari, before continuing through the hill stations of Kerala and ending at Guruvayur, Kerala.
Alexis Brown is a doctoral student at Harvard University, who recently traveled to Sri Lanka over the winter break to perform field research for her dissertation, centered on a Buddhist narrative anthology entitled Rasavahini, written in medieval Sri Lanka. As Brown notes, “the Rasavahini is considered one of the most important works among post-canonical Pali literature in Sri Lanka, as well as Thailand, Burma, and Laos. Despite the Rasavahini’s importance in South and Southeast Asia, relatively little scholarship has been published on it.”
Through the Mittal Institute’s South Asia and the Arts Travel Fund, I traveled to Vadodara, Gujarat and Mumbai, Maharashtra in India to conduct research for my qualifying paper, a requirement in the History of Art and Architecture Department at Harvard University. My qualifying paper explores the conception of the mother-child motif in ancient India within Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, and expands on the function and role of these goddesses and the similarities and differences in their worship.