Student spotlight: Priya Chatwani

Priya Chatwani at an intern mixer hosted by Infosys.

Photo courtesy of Priya Chatwani

Priya Chatwani, '20 is graduating this year with a major in computer science and a minor in global studies, with a specialization in South Asian studies. “I chose to add a global studies minor in order to learn about my South Asian heritage in a formal academic setting. The minor helped me build critical thinking and writing skills outside of my STEM curriculum,” she says.

Priya completed a capstone project for her minor, which explored the gendered dynamics of the technology industry. “After completing internships at Infosys in Bangalore, India and at Google in Mountain View, CA, I had many thoughts and experiences that I wished to contextualize,” she says.

During her summer internship at Infosys, she fondly remembers taking an overnight sleeper bus to visit Goa, a state on the southwestern coast of India. There, she rented a moped and drove across the city, visiting historic churches, temples, and beaches. Throughout the trip, she had the opportunity to meet many different groups of people. “In our sleeper bus, we met a group of volunteers who invited us over that evening for dinner where we made pasta and sang Hallelujah at the table,” she described. “At a beach, we saw a family celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu holiday. They invited us to join them and fed us delicious food. On our last day, while walking around an old fort, we also met two local tourism students. They showed us nearby landmarks, patiently explaining Goa’s long history of colonialism and Portuguese influence. These experiences remain very special to me.”

As she looks back on her time at Stanford, she is most proud of the friendships she has made along the way. “The people I’ve met at Stanford have pushed me to be thoughtful, open, accepting, and knowledgeable of other cultures and schools of thought,” she shared.

Priya, who returned home to Los Angeles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is looking forward to seeing friends and family when the quarantine is over.

After graduation, she will be volunteering with the Voter Empowerment Project over the summer before starting a job as a software engineer at Remix, a startup based in San Francisco that helps cities plan public transit. “While at Remix, I will look for trends and differences in how cities around the world plan and design public transit.”

“My minor in global studies has taught me that history repeats itself and influences our present day in profound ways,” she says. “Moving forward, I hope to continue to view domestic policy and change through a global lens.”

Please join us in congratulating the class of 2020! As the academic year draws to a close, we are highlighting students graduating from across our 14 programs. Click here to view more student spotlights.