There is no better place for Karina Kainth to jumpstart her
professional career than in the country of her heritage - India. The
honor student and senior at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and
International Relations, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for
2013-2014. Through this prestigious grant, Karina will spend nine months
in India teaching English and conducting researching.
Born in the United States to Sikh Indian American parents, Karina,
who also minored in Asian Studies and Spanish, thrives in cultural
diversity and is excited to serve as a liaison between the two
"What has been most rewarding so far is the overarching concept of
understanding the perspectives of other cultures," said Karina. "Although my parents have taught me so much about my Indian culture,
there is a lot that I haven't experienced first-hand and I’m looking
forward to those experiences."
A Truman Scholarship finalist last year, her academic experiences at
Seton Hall provided the platform to gain the necessary tools and skills
around interacting with intercultural communities.
She said, "I learned a lot about state-building in my international
relations classes. A large component of institution-building and
multilateral efforts is fostering communal harmony."
After a year of teaching, Karina plans on pursing a graduate program
in International Affairs, focusing on International Media,
Communications and Advocacy.
Karina has had a number of high-level professional experiences as an
undergraduate. During her first year, Karina was chosen as one of the 27
students from around the world to intern at The National Council on
U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) in Washington, D.C.
In addition to research and investigating leads, Karina wrote
articles for The Washington Report on Middle- East Affairs, giving her
firsthand experience in public diplomacy.
"No matter where you are, whether in the public or private sector,
understanding your audience and being sensitive to different cultures
and perspectives is critical in life."
Karina said social entrepreneurship is also in her future and she
credits her experiences abroad for fostering the passion to integrate
As a sophomore, Karina traveled to Jordan as a Department of State's
critical language scholar. Her experience volunteering as an English
tutor to Palestinian and Iraqi refugees helped Karina to realize the
role of language exchange as a means of cultural integration.
Through this opportunity, which strengthened her own Arabic language
skills, Karina felt she was able to impart positive aspects of American
culture to these refugees.
"It made me appreciate the importance of mentorship and language
exchange to create strong bonds between two cultures," explained Karina.
Karina also focused on the practical aspects of professional
development as an intern for the U.S. Mission to the U.N. in New York.
During the summer before her senior year, she also interned at the U.S.
Embassy in London where she analyzed U.S.-U.K. coordinated policies
surrounding Syria and Iran.
Reflecting on her undergraduate career, she said, "It's important to
connect classroom experiences to your passions and have advisors help
you hone in on practical experiences that can further your aspirations."
In addition to her lifelong immersion in the culture and language of
India, she is simply thrilled about the opportunity to pursue her
passions for human rights and advocacy.
The Fulbright Scholarship is another opportunity for Karina to spread
her wings and build onto the experiences that have made her who she is
today. Her unyielding passion to bridge cultural gaps and connect
communities all around the world is a dream she has begun to fulfill.
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