My name is Matta, and I’m a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School where I study Buddhist Ministry. I graduated from Stanford University with dual degrees in Human Biology and Political Science, and was awarded Distinction, Interdisciplinary Honors, the Award of Excellence, and the Golden Medal for my undergraduate Thesis. Prior to college I attended the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales as a full merit Davis Scholar for my International Baccalaureate. I’m passionate about providing rigorous, cutting-edge education for younger people to prepare them for fulfilling and transformative futures whether that be in academia or beyond. My intellectual interests include all the social science and humanities, as well as biology, genetics, and any other sciences related to the human body. I have years of experience working with students from elementary school to high school as a speech and debate coach, in which capacity I have also coached dozens of students through their holistic college application, test preparation, and general academic journeys. Within my own academic fields I work on the anthropology of Buddhism, anthropology of biomedicine, and interdisciplinary approaches to end-of-life medicine. I plan on completing an MD/PhD in medical anthropology to complete my career aspirations after my time in Divinity school. In my free time, I love to do drag, cook complicated food, spend time with my dog, watch long films, and read any book that catches my interest.
Education: Stanford University
Undergrad Major: B.A. Political Science & B.A. Human Biology w/ Interdisciplinary Honors in LGBTQ+ Studies
Other Degrees/Minors: Graduate student at Harvard Divinity School (Buddhist Ministry)
Class Rank: Top 1%
Awards & Honors: 2018 Davis UWC-USA Scholarship, 2017 Historic UWC Board of Governors Commendation for Student Leadership, 2016 Experiential Leadership Scholarship for Community Research in Northeast India, 2016 Shelby Davis Scholarship, Davis UWC Program, 2016 National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship (Arabic)
Interests & Activities: Chair of the International Student Council, Platform 6 (Queer student organization), LGBTQ+ Advocacy Chair, HIV/AIDS research using molecular phylogeny and BLAST/molecular clock techniques, Lead director on campus drag show, US National Debate Team
ACT Scores: 35 Composite
AP Exams: IB HL: Biology-6 , History of the Middle East and Africa-6, Global Politics-6. IB SL: Mathematics-7, Economics-7, Literatures and Languages-7, Arabic ab initio-7
Other Awards: 2022 Stanford Alumni Association Award of Excellence (top 10% of graduating class), 2022 Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society Inductee), 2022 Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities (for Honors Thesis), 2021 Nancy Ogden Ortiz Memorial Prize for Outstanding Performance in ANTHRO90B: Theory of Cultural/Social Anthropology, 2021 Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo Prize in the Social Sciences for paper titled “Queer Biopolitics in Authoritarian China”, 2021 Stanford Asian American Community Award in Gender and Sexuality Activism, 2021 Markowski-Leach Scholarship, Horizons Foundation, 2021 Queens of the Castro Scholarship, 2020-2021 Stanford King Center Undergraduate Academic Year Research Assistantship, 2020 - 2021 Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) Fellowship, 2020 Franz Boas Summer Scholar, Stanford Anthropology, 2020 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship, National AIDS Memorial, 2020 LGBTQ+ Victory Congressional Institute Scholarship, 2020 Stanford Political Science Summer Research Fellowship, 2020 Stanford Immersion in Medicine Series Observership, Stanford Children’s Hospital, 2019-2020 Stanford Gender & Sexuality Clinic Observership, 2019 Stanford Global Studies Summer Fellowship for Research in Sarajevo, BiH
Other Interests & Activities: Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Lab Member. Teaching Assistant. Founder of Refuge: Queerness, Spirituality, and Religion. Diversity and Equity Chair of the Cardinal Free Clinics. Art-Activism Fellow at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts. Research Assistant at The PRIDE Study. Researcher for Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Research Intern for Post Conflict Research Centre. LGBTQ+ Victory Congressional Institute and Inaugural Chris Hoven Memorial Intern. Field Organizer for the Nevada State Democratic Party.