Samra Adeni (B.A. 2014)

B.A. in International Relations, 2014

Twitter: @samraadeni

Tell us about your time at Stanford. 

I graduated from Stanford in 2014 with a B.A. in International Relations. My coursework focused on East and South Asia and economic development. Over the course of my Stanford career, I was fortunate to study abroad in 3 different Bing Overseas program locations  (Istanbul, Beijing, and Oxford) and also to learn 4 languages (Hindi, Mandarin, French, Latin). In my honors thesis supervised by Professor Jisha Menon, I focused on post-colonialism, race, and gender in India, and explored predominant biases toward fair skin among Indian women through a critical reading of commercials and cinema. A part of my work, titled “The Empire Strikes Back: Postcolonialism and Colorism in Indian Women”, was published in the Columbia South Asia Review.

Tell us about your professional journey after graduation.

After graduation, I joined Teach For America and taught elementary school for 3 years in Washington, D.C. In the summers in between teaching, I also conducted timely policy research on interactions between law enforcement and D.C. charter school students, and worked with Ashoka’s Changemaker Schools. In 2016, I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with an M.S. in Education. Currently, I work at a foundation in Menlo Park.

How did you engage with Center for South Asia (CSA)?

In my time as an undergrad, I engaged with the Center for South Asia through its wonderful academic and social events. As a Student Intern, I was fortunate to get to know the center well-- I have many fond memories of working with the Associate Director Sangeeta Mediratta at the time to organize academic lectures and lunch talks.

What is one word that defines CSA for you?

One word that defines CSA for me is thought-provoking. I personally felt like I learned so much from each event - about my own heritage, about a different lens through which to view the subcontinent's history, about things that I hadn't learned in high school. The Center for South Asia is a unique voice on campus and an invaluable resource for students, faculty, and the greater Stanford community.