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Graduate students

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas

Ali is a student of applied economics and management. For his research, Ali focuses on issues related to public economics and development economics. His research interests range from studying tax compliance behavior in South Asia to constructing measures of school performance in developing country contexts. Ali has previously been associated with organizations such as the World Bank, the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan and the Brookings Institution.


Rama Adithya

Rama is a PhD student in Human Computer Interaction. His primary interests lie in the areas of education and development contexts (ICT4D). In particular, he tries to understand ways in which various communities use technologies for achieving their goals and design impactful solutions.


Farhana Ahmad

Farhana is a Phd Student in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell. Her research intersects the fields of adaptation planning, water and institutional reform in Bangladesh. Her work examines how and why processes of adaptation planning by institutions differentially affect cities, regions and communities, and the implications of these processes for questions of vulnerability, equity and sustainability.  Farhana's interest in issues of equity in cities comes comes from her 10 plus years of experience working in the international development field.


Manasicha Akepiyapornchai

Manasicha is pursuing a PhD in Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture from the Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University. Her project, under the supervision of Lawrence J. McCrea, focuses on the development of the Śrīvaiṣṇavas’ soteriological doctrine of prapatti, especially in the time of Vedāntadeśika. She explores the relationship between Vedāntadeśika’s systematization of prapatti and the production of his multilingual corpus, written in Sanskrit, Maṇipravāḷa, and Tamil.


Rohil Bhatnagar

Rohil holds a Bachelor’s engineering degree in Biotechnology from India, and a Master’s degree in Food Science from Cornell. His doctoral research is focused on developing novel iron-rich microalgae composites and exploring their utility as potential fortificants in food commodities to improve iron nutrition. In his role as a Tata-Cornell Scholar, he conducts fieldwork in rural, marginalized communities in India and studies location-specific community trends that modulate nutritional iron status.


Isha Bhatnagar

Isha is a MS/Phd student in the Department of Development Sociology. Her research interests include the study of gender, as a system of knowledge and as practice, specifically in relation to patterns of fertility and the family, with a regional focus on India. In her current work, she is examining the expectations and roles of daughters and parents of daughters, in the context of cultural norms and fertility decline within the political economy of development.


Jocelyn Boiteau

Jocelyn is a PhD student and TCI (Tata-Cornell Institute) Scholar in the field of International Nutrition. She holds a BS degree in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. Her dissertation research focuses on estimating and understanding quantity and quality food loss of fruits and vegetables in Indian food value chains.


Vincent Burgess

Vincent is a PhD candidate in the Asian Religions doctoral program of the Department of Asian Studies. He has received a 2016-17 Fulbright Student Fellowship to conduct his research over the next year in India.  His research is currently focused on discourses of renunciation and environmentalism against contemporary, north Indian religious traditions, particularly how such discourses have intersected with various conceptions and articulations of modernity.


Patrick Cummins

Patrick is a Ph.D. student in Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture, who works as an intellectual historian of Sanskrit knowledge systems. His primary areas of interest are Epistemology (Nyāya), Scriptural Hermeneutics of the Vedas (Mīmāṃsā), Sanskrit's Indigenous Grammatical Tradition (Vyākaraṇa), and Sanskrit Poetics (Alaṅkāraśāstra).


Kaitlin Emmanuel

Kaitlin holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley (2011) and a M.A. in Asian Studies from Cornell University (2017). Her work draws on postcolonial theory, cosmopolitanism, and comparative modernities to examine how socio-political legacies condition art making, particularly in studies of global modernism, nationalism and the subaltern. Under the PhD program in Art History at Cornell, she extends this analysis to her experience working with and researching the Sri Lanka avant-garde.


Amy Fothergill

Amy is a Phd student in International Nutrition, in the division of Nutritional Sciences. Her research focuses on micronutrient status and maternal and child health. Specifically, she is interested in elucidating the role of vitamin B12 and other micronutrients in the development and progression of anemia, and she is particularly interested in how these associations may change during pregnancy. Currently, she is working on a periconceptional surveillance program in Southern India.


Karlie Fox-Knudtsen

Karlie is a PhD. student in the Department of Anthropology. There she focuses on India religions, sovereignty, reform movements, temporality, and psycho-analysis. She has completed her Masters of Theological Studies (MTS) Degree at Harvard University Divinity School in the anthropology of South Asian Religions and Sanskrit Literature. Most recently she looked at futurity and sustainability discourses in Western Odisha, mining development and slumification in northwestern Odisha State, and religion and regional sovereignties.


Raashid Goyal

Raashid is a PhD student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, where he studies early Islamic law and history. His dissertation project aims at reconstructing the earliest phase of legal thought in Islam through the study of the full corpus of primary sources, especially hadith reports, incorporating source-critical and transmission-based methods of analysis.


Charvi Gupta

Charvi is a graduate student in the City and Regional Planning department at Cornell University. Having a professional background in Planning from the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi, India, she is currently focussed working towards the inclusion of human factor, within the development and planning framework, to restore the genius loci and facilitate economic growth. 


Labib Hossain

Labib is a Ph.D. student in the History of Architecture and Urban Development program. His studies focus on the traditional practices (ex. muslin weaving) in monsoon landscape that can offer an alternative reading of human habitation, one that challenges the dry/permanent ground and serves to open a new imagination that shifts us from a divided landscape of contained waters to a ground of wetness.


Samantha Huey

Samantha is a PhD student in International Nutrition, in the division of Nutritional Sciences. Her research focuses on nutritional, immunologic, and microbiological outcomes in children in Mumbai, India. She is particularly interested in how vitamin D status may predict immune function and the gut microbiome composition. Currently, she is in Mumbai, India and is conducting preliminary work for a large randomized biofortification trial among children living in urban slums. 


Camille Jones

Camille is a doctoral student in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, studying international nutrition and epidemiology. She is interested in maternal and child nutrition, in particular the role of nutrition interventions in immune system strengthening and disease management and prevention. She currently works in the preliminary stages of a randomized controlled trial in southern India that will assess the potential health benefits of meals containing wheat, pearl millet, lentils and sweet potatoes biofortified with vitamin A, iron and zinc.


Barkha Kagliwal

Barkha is a PhD student at the Department of Science and Technology Studies. In her current work Barkha examines the role of technology in changing the food system in India. She focuses on the packaged foods market to bring out the interaction between science, technology and social order.



Shrey Kapoor

Shrey is a PhD candidate in Development Sociology, and is interested in the contemporary articulations of neoliberalism, Hindutva and the dispossession of marginalized groups in favor of capital-intensive development projects, with a regional focus on Gujarat. He holds master's degrees in International Development from Sciences Po Paris and in International Affairs and Governance from the University of St. Gallen.


Kavya Krishnan

Kavya is a PhD student in the field of Soil and Crop Sciences. Her primary research interests are studying soil health – particularly its effects on food security. For the fieldwork component of her PhD, she is working with India-based agricultural universities like the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University in Bihar to advance India’s understanding of soil health.


Austin Lord

Austin is a PhD Student of Sociocultural Anthropology whose research interests include disaster and aftermath, the political ecology of infrastructure development, anticipation and futurity, the conceptualization of risk and resilience, and the lived experience of uncertainty and environmental change in Nepal.


Aparajita Majumdar

Aparajita is a PhD candidate in the History Department. Her research brings together ideas concerning matter, space and ecology in the histories of resource extraction. She works primarily on the accumulation of 'wild' rubber in the north eastern tracts of British India, with specific interests in scientific forestry, borders and contraband economies.


Mariangela Mihai Jordan

Mariangela is an Anthropology and Film PhD Candidate. She received her BA in Anthropology from Emory University in Atlanta where she has also worked on issues of refugee political resettlement at the Emory Center for Ethics and the International Rescue Committee. Her current research looks at overlapping nationalisms, identity, and ethnicity in Mizoram (a Northeast Indian state bordering Burma).


Yagna Nag Chowdhuri

Yagna is a Phd student in the Department of Asian Studies.  Her research interests lie in the discourses of self-transformations and utopia in post-colonial India. In particular she studies the lives and legacies of three figures: Ramana Maharshi, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Osho. She highlights their contributions in writing a new intellectual history of post-colonial India. She is also interested in the encounters between the ‘East’ and ‘West’ and the makings of spiritual cosmopolitan communities.


Katie Rainwater

Katie is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Development Sociology. She is interested in labor and food and agricultural issues. Her dissertation research explores labor relations in the shrimp industries of Bangladesh and Thailand.


Payal Seth

Payal is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of Applied Economics and Management. Her work is primarily focused on development economics and applied econometrics. As a Tata-Cornell Scholar, her fieldwork involves around 1000 households in 15 rural villages in India as she explores the linkages between sanitation and nutrition.


Sadia Shirazi

Sadia is a doctoral candidate whose research focuses on modern and contemporary art. She holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MArch from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Shirazi’s dissertation examines translation, untranslatability and withdrawal in global art practices of abstraction that draw from architecture, new media and conceptualism. Her research interests include Architecture and Urbanism, New Media, Translation Theory, Postcolonial Theory, Gender Theory, Black Critical Theory and Performance Studies.

Bruno Shirley

Bruno Shirley

Bruno is a PhD student in the field of Asian Literature, Religion & Culture. He focuses mainly on Pali Buddhist depictions of kings and kingship in Southern Asia, particularly Sri Lanka, and holds an MA in Religious Studies from Victoria University of Wellington.


Ranjit Singh

Ranjit is a PhD candidate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. His dissertation project examines the legal, administrative, and technological challenges in the implementation of India’s biometrics-based national identification project, Aadhaar. He is also involved in a research project that traces the conceptualization, design, and implementation of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, India.


Nidhi Subramanyam

Nidhi is a Ph.D. student in City and Regional Planning, with a concentration in International Studies in Planning. Her research examines how small cities in the global South manage urbanization in the face of demographic and climate change. She studies the provision and management of basic services such as water and sanitation (and the infrastructure that undergirds them) in small cities in India.


Naveen Sunder

Naveen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics Department at Cornell University. His primary research interests are in the fields development economics and labor economics. His research uses cutting edge tools in applied econometrics to answer questions related to health, education, nutrition and gender issues in developing countries. In his dissertation he looks at the intergenerational impact of maternal socioeconomic conditions on health and education of their children in contexts as varied as India and Uganda.


Anna Thottappilly

Anna is a PhD student in Applied Economics and Management. Her primary research interest lies in looking into issues related to development and social mobility. She is interested in policy-oriented research that could aide in bridging the inequality gap. Prior to Cornell, Anna worked in the capacity of Assistant Professor at Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. Anna received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. She graduated with third rank for the Economics Masters program from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.


Angie Torres-Beltran

Angie M. Torres-Beltran is a PhD student in the Government Department at Cornell University. Her research focuses on women’s rights in South Asia, and United Nations peacekeeping operations. More specifically, she investigates the reversal of women's rights in the region. She received her BA in International and Global Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is a Dean’s Excellence Fellow, a Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies Graduate Fellow, and an American Political Science Association Minority Fellow.    


Kelsey Utne

Kelsey is a PhD student in the Department of History. Her research focuses on commemoration and public history in late colonial and early postcolonial South Asia, with a particular interest in war memorials and military cemeteries. After she earned a dual BA/BS in history and political science at Salem State University, she was 2012-2013 Fulbright-Nehru student research grant. She went on to complete MA in South Asian Studies at the University of Washington (2015).


Palashi Vaghela

Palashi is a PhD student in the Information Sciences department at Cornell. Her research interests are located in technology policy, design and cultures. She works at the intersection of Information Science, Science and Technology Studies, and Anthrpology. Her doctoral research is on feminist technologies, where she looks at the impact and use of technology in women’s lives trying to resist and subvert patriarchal norms in India.


Shiuli Vanaja

Shiuli is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of Applied Economics and Management and TCI (Tata Cornell Institute) scholar. Her research focuses on the economics of household water use in India. She spent 18 months conducting fieldwork in remote villages of Jharkhand state, where she led a survey team and collected primary data. Her field surveys focused on household drinking water choices, water borne disease, behavioral patterns around household water use, and time use patterns of women in these villages.


Anthony Wenndt

Anthony is a PhD candidate and TCI Scholar in the section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology.  He holds BA degrees in Biology and Russian Language, and an Interdisciplinary Concentration in Global Development Studies from Grinnell College. His dissertation research focuses on community-driven participatory research approaches for identifying and addressing food safety issues that may give rise to harmful fungal toxins in Indian village food systems.


Elaine Yu

Elaine focuses on the effects of vitamin D supplementation among adult patients with tuberculosis (as well as a subset living with human immunodeficiency virus co-infection) in southern India. In a double-blinded randomized control trial, study participants will be randomly assigned to receive different dosages of vitamin D or placebo; biological, immunological, and health indicators will be assessed during the one year follow up period.