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Resident Spot Light!

Sansom, Meet Deepti!

1.     Place of Origin and where you live now (West or East Sansom):
I am an Indian (from South Asia) who calls Bangalore home.
At present I live in Sansom West.
 
2.     What are you studying?
I am doing my PhD in Communication Studies at the Annenberg School of Communication. I am mainly interested in the dynamics of culture and belief systems surrounding mobile phone access and use in the developing world.
 
3.     Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself as a professor in a premier university doing pioneering research in the area of Information & Communication Technologies for the Developing Regions.
Also hopefully my present day, nascent efforts to institute a scholarship fund for children & women seeking an education in rural India would have blossomed by then into a full fledged organization supporting these people. It will be making a difference to hundreds of thousands of people’s lives in India.
 
4.     What were you doing before you arrived at Penn?
I just graduated with my Masters in Information Management & Systems from UC Berkeley last year, which was then followed by a stint in the public sector in India in a variety of roles.
 
5.     What is your favorite part about living at Sansom?
I like many things about Sansom but the two nicest things about Sansom are firstly the fact that I simply need to cross the street on either side of the Penn Bookstore to get to my school (Annenberg). J
Secondly I love the fact that living in Sansom enables one to inherit a readymade community of people with common interests or shared life experiences. Within a week of coming to Sansom I threw a housewarming party where everyone in my wing was invited. By the end of the party I had friends amongst my neighbors – people who were on journeys very similar to mine at the present moment in life. That was a lovely day.
I also love how Sansom’s advisors and everyone else went out of their way to make life easy for us newcomers. I was jetlagged and struggling to cope with the time difference immediately after arriving in the US from India. My floor advisor Alison Weltner in all her compassion took me home and helped me reach my parents who were worried by then because they hadn’t heard from me.
 
6.     What was your favorite day at Sansom?
The day I threw my housewarming party and several of my neighbors as well as classmates attended is my favorite day at Sansom till date. What started as a gathering of strangers earlier in the day blossomed into an evening of fascinating conversations. We were up well into the night getting to know each other. Some friendships that began then I’m certain will grow to relationships I will cherish over a lifetime.
 
7.     So, what do you do when you are not in Sansom?
I am usually either at school (Annenberg), Pottruck or the Starbucks down at 34th and Walnut, if I am not home. In general I enjoy hanging out in cafes and having deep conversations about obscure philosophical questions. This I guess is a hangover from my time spent as a Brahmacharin (Nun) in a Hindu ashram (monastery). J
 
Alternately I am not in Philadelphia at alI and have gone traveling, trekking in the Himalayas or am spending time in rural parts of India that haven’t yet discovered electricity, running water or even the fact that the 20th century has come and gone.
 
8.     Favorite Sansom Memory?
Watching the city lights twinkle in the night, from my window, while I sip on coffee during breaks from my studies. I absolutely love the fabulous view of the city from my apartment up in the air.
 
9.     For curiosity, what is your favorite movie, musical group, and book?
Some of my favorite movies are My Fair Lady, Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. I also love most any movie starring either Richard Gere & Julia Roberts, or Hugh Grant & Julia Roberts. My favorite group of performers is the Irish dance company called Riverdance.
I enjoy reading immensely and lap up pretty much anything I can lay my hands upon. My favorite book therefore is pretty hard to choose because I have so many of them, but some of my favorite authors are Richard Bach, R.K. Narayan, Herman Hesse, Terry Pratchett, Jerome K. Jerome, Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Margaret Mitchell, Alvin Toffler, Fritjof Capra, Joseph Campbell and William James (The doctor, psychologist & philosopher).

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