SASC Celebrates Achievements of 2024 Graduates

May 20, 2024

The South Asian Studies Council is proud to celebrate the achievements of three graduating seniors who have collectively made a lasting impact on our Council and community. We wish them all the best as they embark on exciting new adventures after Yale.


Daevan Mangalmurti is graduating as a dual major in South Asian Studies and Ethics, Politics, & Economics, with an Advanced Language Certificate in Hindi and an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Energy Studies. He has been awarded the South Asian Studies Senior Essay Prize for his thesis titled "The State in the Salt Marsh: The Conception, Construction, & Conquest of the Rann of Kutch," which was advised by Professor Sunil Amrith. The thesis analyzes territorial disputes spanning over 200 years focused on an inhabitable salt marsh on the border between contemporary Gujarat, India, and Sindh, Pakistan, to examine the impact of environmental volatility for modern state formation and border-making in South Asia.

Mangalmurti's senior essay draws upon theoretical and methodological approaches gleaned from across his South Asian Studies coursework, but particularly from three courses which focused explicitly on environmental issues and histories of the region, including Environmental Justice in South Asia with Professor Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan and Global Environmentalism and Environment, Medicine, and Science in South and Southeast Asia with Professor Sunil Amrith. Mangalmurti's nine other courses pertaining to the major included such diverse topics as Indo-Islamic histories, the political economy of gender, Sanskrit literature, and the influence of Bhakti on Bollywood.

Mangalmurti explains that the breadth of course offerings by the South Asian Studies program at Yale exposed him to many aspects of the field that he was not aware of or not initially interested in exploring before coming to Yale. As he embarks on his next steps, he says, "I'll be carrying a way of thinking and a set of facts and information that has really been shaped by my exposure to a diverse range of work on South Asia, for which I'm very grateful."

Mangalmurti is also glad to be bringing with him an enhanced network of connections to scholars and practitioners in the field, as well as professional experience with developing and promoting programs, both cultivated through his time as a Student Fellow with the South Asian Studies Council and as a lead student organizer of the Yale Hindi Debate. Key initiatives which Mangalmurti helped to launch at the Council include regular podcasts with visiting speakers and student networking opportunities. Looking back at these experiences, Mangalmurti says, "It's been a huge privilege to work for the Council. I have really benefitted from the connections I've made with academics and other interesting people working in South Asia."

Following graduation, Mangalmurti will start as a James C. Gaither Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, where he will work in the Sustainability, Climate, and Geopolitics Program.


Pranav Senthilvel is graduating from Yale as a dual major in South Asian Studies and Computer Science. His senior essay in South Asian Studies, titled "An Empire's Grain: The Authority of Rice in World War II British India" was advised by Professor Anthony Acciavatti as part of a seminar on Labs and Landscapes of the Green Revolution. The essay explores how British India's rice crop during the War influenced the context in which independence was sprung upon its population.

Senthilvel's essay culimnates a longstanding interest in anthropological and historical approaches to the study of food which was ignited through a course he took on Food Cultures in South Asia with Visiting Professor Dolly Kikon. His research for the essay also benefitted from his experience traveling to India with Professor Acciavatti and other students enrolled in the Labs and Landscapes course on a study tour funded by the MacMillan Center over spring break in March 2024.

The study tour itself felt like a culminating point for Senthilvel. Having previously traveled to India with family to visit with relatives many times, he described the experience of interpreting the significance of various locales along with other students from diverse fields such as architecture and environmental studies as "eye-opening," and like "seeing the same place through an entirely different lens." Senthilvel credits his coursework in South Asian Studies as helping him to become more confident and knowledgeable of his South Asian identity and heritage. He says, "I'm very lucky to have gone to a school that has a South Asian Studies program, let alone one that's so expansive, and has given me opportunities to go to India, and meet with faculty members who have been working in the field for decades and have done really amazing research."

Senthilvel has also enjoyed opportunities to apply his skills in Computer Science to his coursework and research in South Asian Studies, whether by using scrapers to collect and analyze data from historical documents, or developing a tool to assist Carnatic music students in identifying various attributes of musical recordings and attributes as his final project for a course on South Indian Rhythmic Design. 

Senthilvel will soon move to Boston to begin his career as a software engineer at Oracle. He hopes to continue pursuing projects that fuse his coding skills with his passion for South Asian culture and heritage post-graduation, saying "My hobbies are also kind of part of my career now, I'm very lucky to be able to say that."


Luis Corril Serrano is graduating from Yale with a major in Economics as a first-generation college student. He has served as a core member of the South Asian Studies Council staff as a Student Fellow for over three years. While Corril Serrano has supported a wide range of the Council's activities throughout his tenure, he has most enjoyed carving out a space as the Council's go-to expert in graphic design and digitial communications strategy.

Corril Serrano credits his experience with designing the Council's posters, newsletters, and other promotional materials as igniting within him a passion for the principles of design which he may not have discovered otherwise. These experiences, he says, helped him to realize the extent to which the fact that "there is beauty and there is impact in thoughtful design" carries across fields and disciplines.

Corril Serrano plans to build upon his passion for design through a career in urban planning and public service. Before seeking to attend graduate school in this field, he will begin working in a local government office in his native California.


Byline: Tara Giangrande