Meet the 2018 LankaCorps Fellows
Program Year: 2018
The LankaCorps Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in social, cultural, and economic development activities in Sri Lanka. The program aims to foster the involvement and understanding of young members of the expatriate Sri Lankan community who have limited in-depth experience with the country of their heritage. Each year, The Asia Foundation selects an outstanding group of LankaCorps Fellows to live and work for six months in Sri Lanka, granting them the unique chance to “explore their roots while giving back.”
Aisha Rupasingha (U.S.A.) recently graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York with a bachelor’s degree in English. Aisha has a strong interest in storytelling and written and visual media, particularly for younger audiences. She has spent time working at The Walt Disney Company for Disney Junior and intends to return to the entertainment industry to pursue a career as a writer focused on diverse narratives. At Disney, she engaged in all aspects of the television production process—from script development to casting to production and post-production. Coupled with her passion for film and TV, Aisha has a keen interest in community-based work. She led job readiness training for newly arrived refugees in the US at her placement at a refugee resettlement agency in Washington, DC. Her hope is to pursue entertainment and refugee aid work concurrently in the future. Aisha is a student of Sinhala, Arabic, and French and comes from a Sinhala-Muslim background. She has previously visited family in Sri Lanka, but this will be her first time staying there long-term in a professional capacity.
Fredrick Martyn (Canada) is currently a medical student at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Bonaventure University in New York. Fredrick has performed research in juvenile epilepsy at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and in adolescent sexual health at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is also a director for his medical school’s annual comedy show and writes and performs his own poetry. His career objectives include a focus on family and pediatric medicine, and he hopes to combine his medical interests with his creative pursuits.
Hafsa Razi (U.S.A.) recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies, specializing in education policy. While in school, she served as editor-in-chief of the South Side Weekly, a community news organization dedicated to providing in-depth coverage of Chicago’s South Side. She has also reported on education and criminal justice at other nonprofit news outlets. She hopes to continue a career in journalism that is rooted in local communities and that promotes justice and equal access in all areas of public life, such as schools, housing, food, and healthcare.
Maya McCoy (U.S.A.) has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Art and pre-medical concentration from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has experience as a Regional Manager for the TEALS (Technology, Education, and Literacy in Schools) program, partnering industry professionals with local schools to build and grow computer science programs. Prior to joining TEALS, she worked toward her passion of achieving gender equity in computer science as a Teaching Assistant, then Lead Instructor for the Girls Who Code summer immersion program. She is a painter and writer, with a focus on oil painting and creative nonfiction. Her career objective is to work to promote access to quality healthcare, focusing on women’s health education and practice.
Natasha Karunaratne (U.S.A.) has a bachelor’s degree in Education Studies and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Within these two fields, she has a special interest in using education as a means of creating social change. She is interested in studying critical pedagogies and race theory with a particular focus on how such curricula can impact societies that have experienced ethnic, genocidal, and colonial violence. She has work experience at Reimaging Migration, Tufts University Women’s Centre working on migration and peace and reconciliation and at Afterworks on art based multicultural programs. She is a Writing Fellow in the Tufts Academic Resource Center. She looks forward to developing critical curricula and continuing to work with students in post-conflict contexts.
Vasana Ranasinghe (U.S.A.) recently completed a master’s degree in Public Health with an Epidemiology concentration from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. While completing her master’s, she worked full-time as a Healthcare Compliance Specialist at Syneos Health and completed a Healthcare Compliance Certification from Seton Hall School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. She has conducted studies on childhood mental health, health expenditure, diabetes and asthma through the analysis of U.S. national survey datasets. As an undergraduate student at Rutgers University, she developed a youth HIV/AIDS outreach program in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson AIDS Program (RWJAP) and served as a Supplemental Instructor of Epidemiology with the Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS). She travelled to Peru as a Global Health Volunteer with the Foundation of International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), and supported development efforts in Phrao, Thailand as Vice President of the Warm Heart chapter at Rutgers. She enjoys cooking and volunteers regularly at soup kitchens and community cafes. She is passionate about meditation and aspires to a career in promoting peace and well-being.
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