Ipsita Dey, GS, ANT

Professional Development Associate 2023-24

I am a current 6th year graduate student in Anthropology, and am also completing a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies. Broadly construed, my research is on how Indo-Fijians articulate a sense of political, affective, and embodied belonging in Fiji despite the politically volatile "coup culture" of the post-colonial nation-state and historical marginalization. I think through these ethnographic questions and ideas in the space of the "farm-scape", investigating how Indo-Fijian farmers' response to environmental crisis and plantation histories shapes their attempts to articulate a "homing desire" in Fiji.

Through my participation in the GradFUTURES Mentorship program and GradFUTURES Learning Cohorts, I have gained a robust professional network, learned more about how to advertise my skillset, and built collaborative research/working relationships within and outside academia. The most meaningful impact in my life, by far, is the psychological "switch" that happened after I started participating in GradFUTURES: I learned that there are opportunities for growth, collaboration, and personal entrepreneurship wherever you look, and often all you have to do is have the initiative to find resources and the confidence to ask. I am honored to serve as a Professional Development Associate with the GradFUTURES program during AY 23-24 to design even more programs and opportunities for grad students in the Social Sciences division.

One of my favorite GradFUTURES initiatives is the traveling Learning Cohort program, where graduate students travel to metropolitan areas to learn more about the professional opportunities in humanities/social sciences fields. I participated in the NYC trip in AY 22-23 and was inspired by the fields of museum studies, curatorship, and theater production, and have since incorporated my learnings into my dissertation research and public communication of scholarly ideas.