Dr. Suchetana Banerjee, Gayatri Mendanha, and Ananya Dutta teach courses in literature, performance studies, philosophy, and media at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts. They run an interdisciplinary Minor Research Project on ‘Traditions of Devotion: Narratives and Lived Experiences’ funded by Symbiosis International (Deemed University). The aim of the project is to document traditions of religious devotion and representations through living religious sites in Maharashtra which have historically witnessed social egalitarianism and syncretism. Through this project, they are documenting religious practices, narratives, lyrics, philosophical formulations, and social and creative performances around these sites. The study draws from the corpus of existing texts, translations, interpretive studies, and other documentation on existing work in this region, as well as from scholars, performers, practitioners and specialists in diverse fields of knowledge. The idea of this research is to create an open-source repository of sound-image-text which will be a stepping stone for students, researchers and creative professionals.
Dr. Sumithra Surendralal and Dr. Renu Vinod from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts (SSLA) were awarded a Minor Research Project (MRP) grant from SIU for their research project on 'Documenting Perceptions, Strategies, and Practices of Teachers in Non-Formal Education (NFE): A Pilot Study of Khelghar, Pune'. The success of non-formal education (NFE) initiatives run by education NGOs depends heavily on the individuals who take on the role of teachers. Through this 15-month project, Dr. Surendralal and Dr. Vinod hope to systematically understand and document educators’ perceptions, motivations, and their assessment of value addition in the communities they work with.
SSLA faculty members, Dr. Sumithra Surendralal and Dr. Renu Vinod, recipients of the MRP grant, working towards assessing the value addition of NEF initiatives, in the community
SSLA has been awarded a prestigious Shastri Conference and Lecture Series Grant of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) to host a lecture series on 'Fostering Undergraduate Research in University Spaces'. The organisers of the series are the faculty team of Dr. Sumithra Surendralal, Dr. Vaidya Gundlupet, and Dr. Shweta Sinha Deshpande. Three online lectures will be organised in the series to be held from 5-7 pm on March 19th, 23rd, and 26th, 2022.
Dr. Sumithra Surendralal
Dr. Vaidya Gundlupet
Dr. Shweta Sinha Deshpande
SSLA, as an institution, does not incentivize brilliance with awards, but rather with recognition and self-actualisation; and when awards, individual or collective, are a consequence of that, SSLA beams with pride. These displays of talent are encouraged and cultivated in the space through an elaborate process of exposure, engagement and learning. For us, empowerment does not simply exist as a theoretical motto - it is the foundational basis of our pedagogy.
These prodigious personalities who represent the larger missions of the college, are so many in number, that we must enlist and applaud them in such pages. Their effort and achievement surely transcends any such representation and the campus echoes their legacies proudly.
These distinguished names belong, and proudly so, in a long upheld tradition of "standing out" that encompasses every student of the college.
Presenting to you, the victorious icons of SSLA.
Atiriya Narayan, a student of SSLA has been selected for the Maharashtra Senior Women’s Football team. Although Atiriya has played at the state level before, this is the first time that she will be representing her state at the senior level. The selection camp for this team started mid-October and included daily morning/evening high intensity sessions. Atiriya’s goal is to gain more experience as a player so that she can one day represent the national team
SSLA student, Atiriya Narayan, in action
Sruthi Venkatraman, a student of SSLA, recently started working as a Field Fellow for the Suraj Patel Congressional Campaign for District 12 of New York. A businessman and ethics professor at NYU, Suraj Patel is one of the four candidates vying for the congressional seat of NY-12. Working on the ground for his campaign has allowed Shruthi the opportunity to learn from the best on reaching out and engaging with voters. From phone banking and texting, to data entry and social media, she is learning what it means to be part of a grassroots campaign, where every vote counts.
SSLA student, Sruthi Venkatraman, learning hands on how electoral politics work
Divyali Mehrotra, SSLA alumni from Batch 2020, has been awarded the ESRC Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP), to pursue PhD at the Newcastle University, in the United Kingdom. It is a 1+3 programme, where she will be completing her Masters of Arts in Planning and Environment Research, followed by a PhD in Environmental Planning. The NINE DTP award of the full scholarship includes a monthly maintenance grant for her expenses and pays 100% of the tuition fee for the next four years. Her PhD topic explores the joint environmental development plans of the United Kingdom and India, and how the governance practices and policy making processes of these countries can be improved for more sustainable and actionable policies, for environmental development. According to Divyali, her enriched learning in the specialization of International Relations at SSLA, played a major role in directing her passion towards the field, which was further honed by a Master's in International Studies from Goa University. She also credits SSLA's interdisciplinary approach and the liberal arts background, for the development of her interest in environmental sustainability.
Divyali will be staring a new chapter of her life at Newcastle upon Tyne, come September!
SSLA alumni, Viddhi Thakker from Batch 2022, has been accepted to Sciences Po, Paris, which is ranked third in the world for Politics & International Studies. An International Relations major with a double minor in Peace & Conflict Studies and Psychology at SSLA Viddhi will be pursuing her Master's in International Security. Her focus will be in Middle Eastern studies with a thematic concentration in Diplomacy through which she aspires to achieve a future in the United Nations. At SSLA, Viddhi acquired theoretical and practical knowledge in various facets of Diplomacy, Security Studies and Foreign Policy. The interdisciplinary approach of the curriculum helped her discover her interests. Transcending her interest in IR outside the classroom, she also co-founded The Transcontinental, SSLA's first independent forum on International Relations. Her interest in the field was reflected even in her undergraduate dissertation where she focused on crimes of genocide across a few countries and the United Nations' response towards the same. She is excited for this new endeavour and hopes to gain considerable knowledge while enjoying a few macarons during her time in Paris!
SSLA student, Viddhi Thakker will be off to Paris in a couple of months to pursue her Master’s in International Security at Sciences Po!
Ishaansh Singh, SSLA alumni from Batch 2022, has been offered a place at the Hertie School, Berlin, for Master in International Affairs. During the course of the application process, the importance of research and reading oriented skills that higher education institutes prioritise became clear to Ishaansh and he found himself familiar with these skills given the research-oriented nature of the curriculum at SSLA. As a result, he had a lot more clarity with regard to the nature of work which would be expected of him at Hertie. The interdisciplinary nature of the SSLA curriculum also enabled him to present a more holistic view of his thoughts in his statement of purpose. Additionally, since Ishaansh’s major specialisation at SSLA was in International Relations, he had relevant knowledge with respect to the field, which was largely associated with a Master’s programme. Ishaansh’s dissertation and seminar also served as a mechanism for such credibility given that both were rooted in qualitative research and covered major aspects of International Relations. Given that higher education programmes, like the ones offered by Hertie, require significant interdisciplinary approaches, SSLA was instrumental in providing him, according to Ishaansh, the tools to get through the admission process.
Given the diverse specializations offered by Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts (SSLA) across 20 disciplines, our alumni have garnered success in all sectors after their four years at SSLA. Be it in academia or industry, the social sector, or as entrepreneurs – they are holding the SSLA name high in India and across the globe! Highlighted below are a few of our alumni and what they are pursuing, after SSLA!
(MA, Ball State University)
PhD Student, Counselling PsychologyBall State University, Indiana, USA
(MA, UC Davis)
PhD Candidate, Comparative Literature
UC Davis, California, USA
Master of Science, Neuroscience,
University of Oldenburg, Germany
Master of Arts, Society and Culture IIT-Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
(Juris Doctor, University of Melbourne)
Lawyer, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia
Specialized Analytics Officer
Banking & Finance (Digital Strategy & Analytics) Citi Group, India
(MA, Development Studies, University of Sussex)Public Policy Consultant,Chhattisgarh State Planning Commission, India
(MA, George Washington University) Gender Associate, International Finance Corporation, USA
(MA - Public Anthropology, American University)
Collective Service Helpdesk Coordinator
(MA, International and Development Studies,
Geneva Graduate Institute)
Program Manager, Gavi,The Vaccine Alliance, Switzerland
(MA - University of Reading & Ashton University) Good Growth Community Social Media,Tata Consultancy Services, India
(MA, Philosophy, University of British Columbia) Officer Programs, Young Leaders for Active Citizenship, India
Nikunj Agarwal, The Invisible Paintbrush
Advertising, Brand Marketing, Content Marketing,
Digital Marketing, Market Research, Marketing
Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Media Marketing
Peter Ngugi, Skizaa
Automated School Management Software,
For Administration, Students, Parents and Teachers,
Digitizing rural schools in Africa - Blockchain Enabled
Mehek Heydecker, The Letter Alley Social Media Marketing
Palak Sharma, Happy Triangle Foundation
(MA, International Economics, Johns Hopkins University) Programme Coordinator, The Barefoot College Co-founder, Happy Triangle Foundation, India