Ellora Thadaney Israni, Pratyusha Kalluri, Sanjay Kishore, Shivani Radhakrishnan, Sanjena Sathian and Ashvin A. Swaminathan are the six Indian-Americans, who are among 30 graduate students who are recipients of the 2017 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Also selected this year are Bangladesh born Mayesha Alam, who is working on a PhD in Comparative Politics at Yale University and Suriname born Lorenzo Sewanan, who is pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering and an MD in the joint degree medical scientist training program at Yale School of Medicine.
Selected from a pool of 1,775 applicants, each of the recipients was chosen for their potential to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture, or their academic fields and will receive up to $90,000 in funding over two years. The Fellowship supports one to two years of graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program in the United States. Each award is for up to $25,000 in stipend support, as well as 50 percent of required tuition and fees, up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years.
Israni is the child of immigrants from India, will use her Fellowship to support work towards a JD at Harvard University. Though she was born and raised in the Bay Area, Israni often returned to Pune, India, where her grandparents lived. Kalluri, a PhD student at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science, was born on the East Coast and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. Her parents left India in the 1980s, seeking better job opportunities in America. \
Kishore will use his Fellowship to support work towards an MD at Harvard Medical School. Born and raised in rural Virginia, Kishore is the youngest child of parents who emigrated from Hyderabad, India. Radhakrishnan, a PhD Philosophy student at Columbia University was born in Middletown, New York, to Indian parents from Bangalore and Baroda who met while working together in the Catskills. Growing up around Gujarati and Tamil, and studying Russian and Latin, Radhakrishnan became interested in linguistic and social identity.
Sathian’s Fellowship will support work towards an MFA in Creative Writing at University of Iowa. The daughter of Indian immigrants who raised her in Bible Belt Georgia, Sathian connected with her twin cultures through the page. She grew up reading Hindu mythological comic books and Arundhati Roy, the New Testament and Flannery O’Connor. Swaminathan, who will use his Fellowship to support a PhD in Mathematics at Princeton University, was born in New Providence, New Jersey.