Meet our new Tower Center Undergraduate Fellows

We are excited to announce two new Tower Center undergraduate fellows! Meet Varsha Appaji ’21, who will be completing her internship in the summer of 2019, and Hank Cohen ’20, who will be carrying out his research in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Jack C. and Annette K. Vaughn Foreign Service and International Affairs Intern: Varsha Appaji ’21

Varsha Appaji is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University working toward a B.S. in Statistical Science, a B.A. in Public Policy, and a B.A. in Economics. She is also an SMU Dean’s Scholar, Pre-law Scholar, and Discovery Scholar.

Varsha finds her passion at the same place her three majors intersect: in critically evaluating the potential mechanisms that can help alleviate socioeconomic inequality. She currently serves as a research analyst for the Hunt Institute working on a project dedicated to analyzing what it takes for an inclusive economy to realistically and sustainably exist in the near future.

Varsha also has great interest in the potential impacts of emerging technologies on agricultural production and access, emergency response systems, politics, privacy, and more. 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 also spends her time at SMU as the associate director of the Tower Center Student Forum, editing and writing for student driven publications dealing with current events and policy, as well as organizing events featuring distinguished academia and field experts as speakers. Outside of her academic pursuits, Varsha is a South Indian classically trained singer and she regularly performs throughout the U.S., often alongside different world music ensembles. In 2016, Varsha was selected to speak at the TEDxPlano conference where she presented a talk titled, “Music Builds Empathy”.

Rubottom Foreign Service Scholar: Hank Cohen ’20

Hank Cohen is a third-year undergraduate student at Southern Methodist University from Dripping Springs, Texas, studying political science, political communication, while pursuing minors in international studies and Spanish. Leadership and activism are characteristics on which Cohen places great value on and that he strives to adhere to through community and campus involvement. It is his hope that these traits, his diversified academic focus, relevant coursework, unique professional experiences and leadership in extracurriculars will provide him with pertinent prerequisites needed to pursue a graduate degree and career in international affairs and public policy.