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2024 Summer in South Asia Fellows

Meet the 2024 Summer in South Asian fellows!

Venkatesh Alagappan

I’m Venkatesh Alagappan. I’m a sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing dual degrees in public health and biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience. As the Director of Marketing for the Global Surgery Student Alliance, I lead global initiatives on patient education to reduce surgical site infections in Ethiopia. Outside academics, I enjoy playing volleyball and experimenting with new recipes.

Awmeo Azad

Hello, I'm Awmeo, a junior majoring in international studies in the comparative culture and identity concentration. I write long-form narrative journalism and art criticism for the Michigan Daily. In the past, I've participated in the New England Literature Program and performed in RC Players productions of Bakkhai and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Outside of school, you can find me lost in an Earthsea novel or seeing Isao Takahata films at the State Theatre. I hope to intern with a human rights NGO in India this summer.

Thomas Bates

Hello, my name is Thomas Bates. I am a senior pursuing computer science at the College of  Literature Science and the Arts. Besides being a student, I volunteer with Ann Arbor Public  Schools through a University of Michigan program where I help teachers at elementary and middle schools teach native Spanish speakers who are having difficulty understanding the material because it’s in a new language. Before attending the U-M, I volunteered with a firefighters organization that helped people experiencing homelessness in Southern California and was a caregiver for elderly veterans. I also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in high school and was involved with fundraising. I love to travel, do charity work, and learn new languages.  After graduation, I plan on continuing to help others and hopefully have research that I conduct help me to address the underlying conditions that create homelessness and environmental degradation.

William Harrison

Hi! I am William Harrison, a junior majoring in economics and minoring in environmental science. On campus, I am also involved with the Graham Sustainability Institute and the Global Scholars program! I have coached high school rowing off-campus and currently work at Amer’s Deli. This summer, I will be in Bengaluru working with the Selco Foundation, which installs and consults on democratic and decentralized solar energy infrastructure installations. Specifically, I will be working on their finance team. After graduating, I hope to get involved in the financial side of green technological solutions and/or ecosystem restoration projects. I am nervous and excited about my trip, but I am way more excited than nervous!

Natalie Hoisington

Hi! My name is Natalie Hoisington. I’m a freshman intending to major in international studies, focusing on security, norms, and cooperation. During a typical week, you can see me fanatically watching football or basketball, walking in the local parks, or mentoring students to read with the organization SOAR Detroit. With a passion for human rights, I hope to work with an organization that combats trafficking and other human rights abuses. Since I am a vegetarian, I am super excited to explore India’s diverse cuisine. I can’t wait for this amazing summer abroad!

Aditya Patel

My name is Aditya Patel, and I am a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in CS. I am also involved in MRacing because I love cars, and it is a great learning experience. I am also a part of MHackers, where I am part of the machine learning team. I will intern at an electric motors company in Gujarat, India, this summer. I can't wait to join the company and expand my knowledge in my field. It will also be a great experience as I will be on my own, exploring new places and meeting new people.

Schnadè Saintïl

I’m Schnadè Saintïl, originally from South Florida. My studies include theatre, performance, and francophone. My Haitian ancestry and how Haiti’s history is overlooked led me to this path. In addition, I have been trained as an actor and have been interested in the stories that aren’t told. I’m interested in uncovering unexpected intersectionalities in identity and how they relate to quotidian life. I have thought a lot about the legacy of French colonialism in Haiti, and my research with SiSA leads me to investigate how it fared in Puducherry, where French is an official language. I plan on working with a French institution and working with the local population to uncover how much power French and English fare as opposed to the local languages, most notably Tamil.

Emilio Uribe Botero

Hello, I am Emilio Uribe Botero, a rising sophomore planning to major in economics and international studies on the political economy track. I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I am of Colombian descent. At U-M, I am involved in the Michigan Music Business Club, the Association of Latino Professionals for America, and other Latino social groups. This summer, I will be working with the Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society in Sitapura, Rajasthan, just south of Jaipur. I will assist this non-profit in advocating for equitable benefit sharing and protecting community rights, including food security and participation. I also look forward to traveling around the country in my free time and exploring the different cultures around India.

Maanas Varma

Hi, I'm Maanas Varma, a music performance sophomore who is actively involved with the Wolveraas dance team and the Indian American Student Association. I'm thrilled to be heading to Jaipur this summer, where I'll have the privilege of interning with well-renowned Hindustani classical violin teachers. I will enhance my understanding and skill of this traditional art form while contributing to its rich legacy through personal growth and artistic exploration. I am so excited and look forward to sharing my experiences and the music that continues to shape me!

Jorja Rose Wegryn-Jones

Hi there! My name is Jorja (she/her), and I'm a junior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts pursuing pre-medical studies and a double major in German and biology, health, and society. I ultimately want to become a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) who focuses on preventative and holistic health for underserved populations and is actively aware of the political and sociocultural framework our healthcare practices shape. I am so excited about the new experiences this fellowship will bring me. I am interested in volunteering for an NGO with initiatives in health education, rural outreach, or providing care to disadvantaged groups. I am involved with the Inter-Cooperative Council, recreational sports, and the Undergraduate American Medical Women's Association on campus. You can find me tending to my plant collection or feeding squirrels on the diag in my free time.

Yixin Zhang

Hello! I’m Yixin Zhang, an aspiring international studies sophomore at the University of Michigan with a prospective minor in earth science. My academic and extracurricular journey reflects my enthusiasm for global affairs, with a keen focus on human rights and state sovereignty issues. Engaged with the BLI, UROP, and former experience in CSG, I actively contribute to our campus intellectual ecosystem. With the intent of collaborating with a New Delhi think tank, I aim to delve into South Asia's dynamic geopolitics. I envision a career with global organizations and pursuing a JD degree to robustly advocate for human rights underpinned by a solid legal foundation.