HC Student Accepted to Harvard Kennedy School’s annual Public Policy and Leadership Conference

By Donel Young
Photo of Aasha Shaik

Honors College student Aasha Shaik (’20/RBS, DRC) was accepted to attend the 18th annual Public Policy and Leadership Conference (PPLC) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government next February in Cambridge, MA.

This year, PPLC received more than 800 applications from 220 different colleges and universities, and invited 73 students in all to attend the three-day conference, which will provide an introduction to the field of public policy and include a series of distinguished speakers, policy workshops, and exposure to possible public service careers.

In applying to PPLC, Aasha reflected on her reality as a young, half-Muslim and half-Hindu, first-generation Indian-American woman who is both marginalized and privileged as a cisgendered, able-bodied, American-born citizen. Building on her girl-advocacy work at the United Nations during high school, Aasha hopes that her experience at PPLC will help clarify which path to explore within human rights and law and, ultimately, support her dream of helping to lift up all marginalized communities through public policy.

"I'm so humbled and excited by the opportunity to participate in PPLC! I’ve heard amazing things from alumni, including Sridhar Sriram (another RA here in the HC),” said Aasha. “I'm especially looking forward to meeting and connecting with other student leaders from around the country, and overall plan to absorb as much as I possibly can from each of the speakers and programs. A special thank you to the Honors College for all of its continued support, especially Dean Andrea Rydel, assistant dean of professional development."

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