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Young Scholars Research Symposium: A celebration of student excellence

Conference/Symposium | May 2 | 4-7 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)


Ariana Pemberton, History of Art Department

Sanchit Shorewala, Department of Economics; Department of Statistics

Rebecca Dharmapalan, Department of Sociology

Zhuo Shi, Department of Economics; Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Lei Dingkun, Visiting Scholar, 2017, Institute for South Asia Studies

Institute for South Asia Studies


The Institute for South Asia Studies invites you to join us for our second annual young scholars research symposium on South Asia. This symposium will showcase the work of UC Berkeley students who have finished their theses on diverse topics related to South Asia.

Presenter Bios

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ariana Pemberton went to school here her entire life. After completing high school, she attended Berkeley City College for three years and transferred to UC Berkeley as Junior in the History of Art department. With a passion for the arts, a fascination for religions and their complex, intersecting networks, and a strong interest in ancient histories, she found her niche in the department through exploring pre-modern South Asian topics. While her research at Berkeley has largely been concerned with the Western Himalayan region, Ariana's general interests include a much broader scope. She will be graduating from UC Berkeley this May, but will continue her education in Jaipur as a third-year Hindi student, and eventually apply to a graduate school to work on achieving a PhD.

Sanchit Shorewala is a graduating senior majoring in Economics and Statistics. His interests in economics centre around the role of institutions and history in determining policy outcomes, the history of economic thought, and power differentials in socio-economic organization. Non-academically, he enjoys reading history and political philosophy and watching films and stand-up comedy.

Rebecca Dharmapalan is an artist and activist from Oakland, California. Her work is focused around the issue of Child Sex Trafficking and the abolishment of modern day slavery through creativity and solidarity. At UC Berkeley, Rebecca focus is in several fields including Sociology as well as Global Poverty. Her first film "International Boulevard" was awarded Grand Prize at Girls Impact the World film festival presented at Harvard University, the Los Angeles Film Festival, Delhi’s Indie Art Week and several more. She has gone on speaking tours all across the country at the Ashoka Future Forum, and a TEDxTalk in New York City. This year, Rebecca was selected for Teen Vogue 21 under 21: girls and femmes changing the world, and was recently awarded as Glamour’s College Women of the Year 2017.

Zhuo Shi, is currently a senior at UC Berkeley, double majoring in Economics, and Molecular and Cell Biology. In the realm of economics, she is interested in intellectual property rights, health economics, and international trade. This is reflected in her research on the effects of patent rights on pharmaceutical companies in India. Additionally, she is an undergraduate researcher in a cancer biology lab at UC Berkeley, studying the role of ubiquitylation during cell growth and differentiation. Outside of academics, she teaches piano with The Music Connection, make ceramics pieces, and dance on a hip hop dance team. After graduation, she is taking a gap year to further dive into health economics and to apply to medical school.

Lei Dingkun, currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, is interested in India’s domestic politics, Indian local governance and Special Economic Zones. He has acquired his B.A. in Hindi Language and literature in Beijing Foreign Studies University during which he spent more than one year in India to improve his language skills as well as deepen his understanding of Indian culture and society. As an ISAS Visiting Scholar, he will be researching India’s local governance and development through a study of SEZs in India.


isas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3608