Alumni Highlights

Shikha Uberoi Bajpai ’13

headshotAnthropology is not simply a field of study, it’s a style of perceiving the world around us. I use the values, skill sets and perspectives of Anthropology on a daily basis in my work. When negotiating or selling to people of various cultures, I have a strong understanding of the cultural and communication differences and how to navigate them. Branding and marketing is a large part of my work and applying cultural relativity in my operations, in addition to knowing how to comprehend communities’ purchasing patterns and behaviors is critical to my success. Much of my success and company’s growth can be traced back to what I learned in Aaron Burr. In today’s globalized yet fractured world, understanding people both as individuals and as part of unique cultures is a prerequisite for success.

I’m a proud Anthro major with a certificate in South Asian studies. I wrote my thesis on youth perception of social impact television in India. As part of my thesis, I submitted six short films, a digital platform, and a format for a television show that would incite and enable social change (http://kaunbanegahero.com). Three years after graduating I launched that television property, The Real Deal® which enjoyed over 10 million viewers in India and deployed nearly half a million USD in funds to social entrepreneurs (ndtv.com/therealdeal). Today, my company Impact Media 360, Inc. endeavors to mainstream social change through purposeful programming all around the world. In addition to starting up my production company, I am expanding the APAC and European operations of Indi.com. Indi is a video engagement and ecommerce enablement platform generating reach and revenue for major brands.

 

Tesla Monson Ph.D. ’07

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My first introduction to human evolutionary studies was in classes with Professor Alan Mann in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton. After getting my BA in Anthropology in 2007, I moved out to California, and after considering medical school, I decided to complete a MA in Biological Anthropology at San Francisco State University (2012). More recently, I completed a PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley (2017). Over the last year, I have been a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, studying the evolution of skeletal and dental variation in mammals, and teaching IB 35AC, Human Biological Variation. My research has taken me around the world to visit museum collections and present at conferences in places like Ethiopia, South Africa, Croatia, and across the United States. While at Berkeley, I also hosted and produced a radio talk show, The Graduates on KALX 90.7 FM, highlighting graduate student research and promoting diversity in academia (2013-2018). In June, I will start a new postdoctoral research position at the Anthropology Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, investigating dental variation and population movement in modern humans.

 

 

Tara Hariharan ’07

headshotMy eleven years since graduating Princeton have been spent in financial research, even though I majored in cultural anthropology (with no economics background). Far from being unprepared for my career, I found my anthropological training vital– after all, financial markets are driven by human behavior. At present, as head of research at a New York hedge fund with global interests, my work subtends economics to focus on "political economy". Interpreting the interactions between policymakers and investors is key in today's markets where a brief official comment can trigger dramatic moves in financial indices.  In dialogue with a host of international leaders, I use the very fieldwork methods and lenses of reflexivity I learned in anthro core courses to parse their rhetoric on politics and policy.  Cultural relativism rules too - political/economic dynamics differ across countries and societies, and sensitivity to nuance is as key to investing as numerical models. To further hone my craft as an anthropologist of political economy, I am actively engaged with the Council on Foreign Relations (as a term member) and various transatlantic civil society organizations.

Douglas Clark Lennox II ’09

headshotBeing an anthropology major has helped me to be a great team player and a lifelong learner. I always frame my experiences through the lens of how I can help improve an organization rather than how I can be successful in a vacuum. It’s not about me, it’s about the collective good. And, I don’t know everything so I am always open to learning. And, I fully expect to be proven incorrect many times a day!

I chose to become a college swim coach because this position allows me to partner with students in their academic, athletic and personal lives for four very developmental years. The positive influence I can have on a young person is massive by virtue of all the time spent together, the camaraderie built and the lessons taught (and learned) each and every day. Perhaps the most important thing I do on a daily basis is I model my humanity so that others can feel comfortable doing the same. And, I am very open to dialogue about anything and everything so that students can understand the profound impact of simple tasks such as listening to, learning about, respecting and accepting a person without ulterior motives. It’s powerful stuff!

Nina Bahadur ’12

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I am a freelance writer and editor writing for Refinery29, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Women's Health, Men's Health, Racked, SHAPE, SELF, People, and more. I primarily write about women's health, body image, empowerment, and inequality. Majoring in Cultural Anthropology, along with my certificates in Creative Writing and Gender and Sexuality Studies, helped me become a more thoughtful storyteller and cultural critic. I wrote my JP on women's bodies in the media and my senior thesis on attractiveness effects, and both projects equipped me to write with added context and authority. Ethnography training informed my reading, writing, and reporting skills, and anthropology as a discipline taught me to be curious, listen carefully, and amplify unheard voices.