Shayan is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences with plans to major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics as well as possibly minor in Comparative Literature. He is a Bengali Muslim-American and has worked with asylum seekers at the New Sanctuary Coalition in New York City, translating their stories from Spanish to English, writing affidavits, and filing for work authorization. These experiences have given Shayan an appreciation for the value of dialogue across difference, not simply for the ends it may accomplish, but also for generating empathy and as a means of survival. Above all, his work with asylum-seekers has instilled within him a sense of urgency to immediately put his skills and knowledge into practice.
The SNF Paideia Fellowship program fits his interests in the social sciences and he hopes to further explore how questions of race and ethnicity complicate political, social, and economic institutions in the U.S. To Shayan, part of understanding what it means to be wholly human requires applying a deep level of empathy towards studying what it means to be a citizen. In the future, he hopes to explore and develop new ways to translate academic discovery into meaningful community impact.