Varsha AppajiVarsha Appaji is a senior at Southern Methodist University working towards a B.S. in Statistical Science, a B.A. in Public Policy, and a B.A. in Economics. She has been recognized as an SMU Dean’s Scholar, Pre-Law Scholar, and Discovery Scholar.

Varsha finds her passion at the place where her three majors intersect: in critically evaluating the potential mechanisms that can help alleviate socioeconomic inequality. In the Hunt Institute, she works as both Co-Lead of the Research Team and an Undergraduate Research Analyst on a project dedicated to analyzing what it takes for an inclusive economy to realistically and sustainably exist.

Varsha also has great interest in the potential of emerging technologies. Through her research, she has discovered the vast impacts these technologies can make on agricultural production and access, green energy, emergency response systems, politics, privacy, and more, for better or for worse. Varsha is committed to furthering her study of the effects that technology can have on various aspects of human life. In the long run, she is motivated to one day shape policy that can ensure innovation is for the benefit of all humanity, serving to fill the gap between dominant and subaltern groups.

Varsha says, “I connect with my work at the Institute because our research is guided by a holistic scope. We look at intersections of industries and innovation so that we can address issues as a system versus as isolated situations. Rather than adding to the information-overload, we learn from established best practices and understand how we can implement their principles to make a realistic local impact.”

Varsha also spends her time at SMU as the Jack C. And Annette K. Vaughn undergraduate fellow of the Tower Center, actively involved in policy and international affairs research. Outside of her academic pursuits, Varsha is a South Indian classically trained singer and she regularly performs throughout the US, often alongside different world music ensembles.

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