ReportersOur dedicated team of volunteer reporters helps ensure that immigrant voices are preserved and shared:
Hi, I'm Isabella Nugent.Senior Reporter | x 16
Isabella is sophomore at Bryn Mawr College who is majoring in international studies with a concentration in global social justice. She first became interested in the First Days Project as a way to better understand her own family history and histories of other American immigrants. The first person she interviewed was her freshman roommate and Isabella enjoyed her experience so much that she wants to record First Days stories of all the important people in her life.
Hi, I'm Eshaan Mani.Senior Reporter | x 16
Eshaan Mani is a student at The Kinkaid School in Houston and a published author and poet. He enjoys debate class and is fascinated by the variety of topics that one can debate. In his spare time, he enjoys acting in plays, swimming, writing, and playing tennis. Eshaan also devotes much of his time to volunteering with nonprofit organizations like SAADA, especially those focused on literacy and education. Eshaan hopes that writing for SAADA helps him meet interesting people, learn about their stories, and celebrate their experiences.
1. Viji Raman 2. Jay Raman 3. Rajan Radhakrishnan 4. Champak Panchal 5. Orpheus John 6. Harish Jajoo 7. Venugopal Menon 8. Rathi Menon 9. Brandon Shamim 10. Aisha Siddiqui 11. Inder Singh Randhawa 12. Zeeshan Vasaya 13. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 14. Periyanan Vaduganathan 15. Nirmala Garimella 16. Kumar Bashyam
Hi, I'm Sindya N. Bhanoo.Reporter | x 9
Sindya N. Bhanoo writes the Observatory column for The New York Times science section. Her radio stories have aired on PRI's The World and KQED's The California Report. She was previously an environmental reporter for The New York Times, a tech reporter for The Industry Standard and a general assignment and health reporter for The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. She is also the co-founder of Emerson Street Radio, a neighborhood oral storytelling project. Sindya holds a Master's in journalism from U.C. Berkeley and a B.S. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Hi, I'm Basudhara Sen.Reporter | x 5
Basudhara Sen is an independent researcher of Sociology living in Amherst, MA. She received her PhD in Sociology from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater in 2013, Masters in Sociology from University of Calcutta, India in 2005, and Bachelors in Sociology from Presidency College, University of Calcutta in 2003. Her research focuses on immigration, ethnicity, and identity, emphasizing on South Asian immigrants in the United States.
Hi, I'm Indrani Saha.Reporter | x 4
Indrani Saha is a junior and Mellon Mays Fellow at Duke University pursuing a self-designed major in Cognitive Aesthetics. She interned with the South Asian American Digital Archive in Fall of 2012 where she documented the stories of three South Asian American artists in Michigan and curated an exhibit of their works. She also contributed to the First Days Project by sharing her family friends’ initial experiences in the United States. The project has encouraged Indrani to continuously learn about and engage with the histories of those around her.
Hi, I'm Zack Shlachter.Reporter | x 4
Zack Shlachter is an on-again, off-again graduate student and journalist, and full-time idler. His main interests are in South Asian culture and history, the arts, and social justice. Originally from and once again residing in Texas, he has lived, worked and studied in the Middle West, London, and various parts of the motherland.
Hi, I'm Ayshea Khan.Reporter | x 4
Ayshea Khan is currently a MSIS Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information. She is actively pursuing a career in archives and preservation, focusing on audiovisual preservation, digital archives, and collection accessibility and outreach. She holds a B.S. in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College and her work as a cinematographer has screened at film festivals nationwide. She currently works with Austin youth as an Austin Film Society Filmmaking Mentor and enjoys volunteering her time with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the American Genre Film Archive.
Hi, I'm Mika Rao Kalapatapu.Reporter | x 3
Mika Rao Kalapatapu is a communications leader with a passion for storytelling, justice and equity. After graduating from The University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communications (with a minor in South Asia Regional Studies), Mika has worked as a change management consultant with Accenture and directed communications and marketing teams at large healthcare systems including Memorial Hermann and K+S Consulting. She is currently the Managing Director for Communications and Public Affairs at Teach For America. She holds a master's degree in communications from Boston University and is an active volunteer and board member with a number of local philanthropic organizations.
Hi, I'm Gauthami Penakalapati.Contributor | x 2
Gauthami Penakalapati is global health researcher focusing on the intersection between women/girls and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in developing countries. Gauthami received her BS from Georgia Institute of Technology and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University. She is interested in capturing everyday moments through photography and radio.
Hi, I'm Hana Manadath.Contributor | x 1
Hana Manadath is a first year student in the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program at American University. She is majoring in International Relations and Film. In between stopovers, you can find Hana in Washington DC or North Carolina. Hana's upbringing as a daughter of first generation immigrants from India galvanized her interest in refugee and migrant rights. Having traveled to India and Greece for service, Hana has a deep interest in developing impactful solutions for the poverty and discrimination marginalized communities face. After graduation, she hopes to live in India for a while before attending graduate school. In the future, Hana hopes to turn her passions into a career focused on mitigating socioeconomic disparities present in refugee and migrant communities. In her free time, Hana enjoys travelling, photography, community service, and going to concerts.