Alumni Updates: Tanay Katiyar, Sowparnika Jayakumar, and Tasneem Zahra (India)

Alumni Class Secretary Tanay Katiyar for 2019-2020 Indian cohort recently asked his peers to reflect on their Global UGRAD experiences and update readers on significant academic and professional accomplishments, as well as future goals.

Tasneem Zahra at Chatham University

After the Global UGRAD Program, Tasneem Zahra has become more responsible, independent, decisive, and serious toward her academic pursuits. A movie enthusiast, Tasneem now watches one movie per day and still communicates with her U.S. Cinema and Culture professor regarding film recommendations. While in the United States, Tasneem’s professors highly encouraged her to pursue a career in media. As a result, Tasneem is currently working toward enhancing her language skills and expanding her mind, as well as forming firm opinions on contemporary social issues. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree and has begun preparing for her entrance examinations, where she plans to pursue a master’s degree program in India. In addition to her academics, Tasneem is also a participant of the “National Speaking Summit,” an online international speaking summit, where she engages in an inter-college debate competition. Tasneem often reminisces on her U.S. experience and narrates it to her friends and family. She is still in touch with her American friends on social media and video calls them every Friday. Tasneem believes that the Global UGRAD Program molded her into a better version of herself.

Tasneem Zahra, India, Global UGRAD 2019-2020, Chatham University

Sowparnika Jayakumar

Upon returning home, Sowparnika Jayakumar successfully graduated with a bachelor’s in commerce degree from her home university, M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women. She immediately started an internship at a digital marketing agency and later joined full-time as an Influencer Marketing Specialist. Apart from work, Sowparnika has also been working toward learning new skills, such as designing and sewing, and polishing existing ones, such as singing and sketching. Additionally, she is an active member of Art of Living, an international humanitarian organization and takes part in weekly mindfulness and soulfulness programs that focus on public welfare, meditation, knowledge sharing, and physical and mental health through yoga. The transition back home was quite challenging, especially since Sowparnika had to adapt to the “new normal” along with her old one. However, the Global UGRAD Program widened her perspective, gave her a positive outlook, and provided lessons and values – all of which helped her in the transition.

Sowparnika Jayakumar, India, Global UGRAD 2019-2020, Juniata College

Tanay Katiyar

After the Global UGRAD Program ended, Tanay Katiyar achieved two important milestones amidst the pandemic. He, along with his roommate, started a student-led research magazine called Curiositas that sought to address asymmetric research outputs in undergraduate institutions. The magazine is currently acting as a platform for guiding students towards applied research. Tanay was also selected for the Young India Fellowship (YIF) offered by Ashoka University. The YIF is a year-long residential postgraduate diploma program in liberal studies at Ashoka University. Started in 2011, the YIF brings together bright and curious individuals from diverse academic, professional, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds, and exposes them to an array of educational experiences that help Fellows imagine new or enhanced intellectual and professional possibilities.

Tanay Katiyar, India, Global UGRAD 2019-2020, Marymount University