Member Spotlight – Ujjayini Das

Jamie Chapman
Mar 27, 2024

Hailing from the bustling suburbs of Calcutta, India, Ujjayini Das holds a master’s degree in statistics. In 2022, Ujjayini moved to the United States to pursue a doctorate in survey methodology and data science at the University of Maryland, College Park.

As a Graduate Research Assistant at the university, Ujjayini delves into the realms of statistical methodologies, seeking to bridge the gap between the quantitative and qualitative aspects of social science.

A true performing arts enthusiast at heart, she enjoys reciting and writing poems and short stories, singing, cooking, and reading. Her love for the arts extends even further as she endeavors to master the ukulele.

Let’s get to know Ujjayini!

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you?
Phi Kappa Phi means an emblem of excellence and intelligence to me. It is the collective group of some of the greatest minds in the nation. Since I am an international student, the offer was a matter of honor and pride to me – it surely does feel enthralling to be a member here.

What intrigues you most about the study of social sciences?
The nuances of societal dimensions that I never got to explore before I joined my doctoral program. It is astonishing to learn how public opinion works, how people think, and to get a sense of their attitudes and sentiments through qualitative and quantitative research. I found a field where my statistical training can be utilized in a meaningful way to contribute to my community as well as the overall society.

What is your favorite food or meal to prepare?
I absolutely love cooking! My favorite dishes to make are alfredo fettuccine and cottage cheese curry from my home country.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
The best vacation of my life to date is the Andamans, a group of islands on the Bay of Bengal, with turquoise blue water and breathtaking beaches!

What is your favorite childhood memory?
This must be with my grandma, who raised me during the primitive days of my childhood. Anything related to her is the fondest memory of my childhood – her storytelling, her lullabies and all her efforts to feed me those tasty meals!

What is the most significant cultural difference between India and the U.S.?
The social bonding of people. India is a very collectivistic country, whereas the US is more individualistic. It is easy to get lost in the crowd in the States, where no one may notice you. Good for introverts like me, I guess!

What motivates you to work hard?
My childhood dream of getting a doctorate and the love for my research.

What type of career do you hope to pursue after graduation?
I would like to stay in academia after I finish my degree, possibly in a research and teaching position at a university.

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate?
I love Durga Puja, a religious festival for my religion that lasts for four days. The food, lights, and grandeur of that are unbeatable.

What is your favorite book?
I would like to mention poems here. I love Wordsworth, Daffodils, Lucy Poems and many more. I could not imagine a better playing with words than the works he showed here. These poems can transport you to a whole different world and leave you lingering for more after it’s finished! Evergreen.

To learn more about Ujjayini and connect, visit her profile within our online member community here.

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