Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Good Things Come in Pairs
College almost separated Utsha Khatri '09 and Upasana Khatri '10. "Davidson was a bit of a last-minute decision," said Utsha, "but it wound up being one of the best decisions I've made." Upasana, who wasn't considering a liberal arts college until Utsha came to Davidson, followed suit a year later. "I started looking more closely when Utsha chose Davidson and realized, 'Wow, what an amazing school.'"
Both sisters have taken advantage of Davidson's love for all things interdisciplinary: Utsha majored in political science while pursuing a pre-medical track, while Upasana majors in environmental studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. "An integrated approach is really essential to solving our ecological crisis," said Upasana.
Both spent time in Nepal (where they lived for a time as children) working with the Nepal Orphan's Home, brainchild of Michael Hess, brother to Davidson professor Peter Hess. As a Bonner Scholar, Upasana spent her Summer of Service working in the orphanage. Thanks to help from the Dean Rusk International Studies Program and other community-service grants, Utsha spent two months teaching English at a local school and working at the orphanage.
Davidson Trusted Them
"Davidson is a wonderful school that would've been out of our reach without the alumni grants and financial aid we received," said Utsha. "I feel very lucky," said Upasana. "Davidson has given me opportunity to do research in my field that I wouldn't have the resources to fund until I'm a lot older."
The Value of Service
"Growing up in the U.S., we were raised with a strong sense of our Nepali heritage. Balancing our dual Nepali-American identities was often a challenge," said Utsha. "Going back there really helped answer a lot of questions. The independence that going to Nepal allowed for, and the time we had to explore, wouldn't have been possible without Davidson." Utsha, who now lives and works in Sri Lanka, graduated with an English Teaching Assistantship Fulbright award.