CASI Students Go Beyond the Classroom

Monday, November 21, 2016


Pevan Pearson, C'18 (left), helped document livelihood stories, including ones focused on agriculture, during her internship at Samaj Sahayog in rural Madhya Pradesh. Photo credit: Geneva Gondak

The Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) provides Penn students a unique opportunity to learn beyond the classroom through summer internships and research opportunities. In 2016, 18 undergraduates participated in the internship program and four graduate students participated in the Travel Funds for Research Program.

Aditi Ahuja, C’18; Camilo Toro, C’17; and Thomas Uhler, C ’19, W’19, all interned at the Aravind Eye Hospitals in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Their projects included creating patient education materials, developing patient surveys focused on disease understanding (specifically glaucoma), and quality of life assessments for patients who use ocular prosthetics.

“My internship truly reaffirmed my passion for healthcare and developing interventions to benefit those who cannot access proper healthcare,” says Toro. “It is now a permanent reference point for me as I continue to pursue a career in medicine.”

Three Arts and Sciences doctoral candidates—Baishakh Chakrabarti, Ishani Dasgupta, and Michael Collins, all from the Department of South Asia Studies—participated in CASI’s Travel Funds for Research Program to pursue independent research as it relates to their dissertation topics which include colonial gambling practices, electoral finance, and the intersection of compassion and violence with the democratic ideals of Buddhist spiritual practices. Additionally, three CASI Student Programs alumni are currently in India as Fulbright Fellows: Alexander Hoppe, GR’23; Aardra Rajendran, C’16, ENG’16, and Kendra Carson, C’16.

Read more on the CASI student programs blog: