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Fulbright Recipient Reflects on Special Experiences at Seton Hall
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Karina in JordanThere 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 countries.

"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 people together.

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.

For more information please contact:
Peter Hynes
(973) 275-2352
peter.hynes@shu.edu

 

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