Navigating Legal Status during Grad School

Updated: Apr 19

Meet this week's Grad Chat guest, Sameera Nayak!


Hi friends! I’m Sameera Nayak (she/her) & I’ll be chatting with Fay Lin on this week’s Grad Chat!


I’m a PhD candidate in Population Health in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences & a graduate researcher at the Institute for Health Equity & Social Justice Research at Northeastern University. I have a background in Clinical Psychology & I’m a proud alumna of UCLA & Columbia University!


My research is in social epidemiology, more specifically in the social & political determinants of health & health inequities. I use quantitative & qualitative methods to better understand the health & experiences of women, children, & families, & I’ve conducted research globally in East Africa as well as domestically in the US.


I first came to the US in 2010 as an international student from India & have spent the last decade navigating the complicated US immigration system. On this week’s episode of Grad Chat, I’m looking forward to discussing the challenges of navigating status during graduate school, the heterogeneity of immigrants in the US, the intersections of mental health & immigration, & how my own personal experiences catalyzed my interest in making immigration the focus of my research!


I also have the privilege of teaching & mentoring undergraduates at Northeastern! As an educator, I use a social justice lens to highlight the structures & systems that perpetuate inequities in our society & help students understand how best to dismantle these to improve public health. I’m especially driven to mentor & guide women in academia & encourage more women to enter STEM fields.


I’m an over-enthusiastic dog mom & in my free time, you’ll probably find me hanging out with my two rescue dogs Mila & Chase & cataloguing their every move on my Instagram- sorry, not sorry! I love talking to people, answering questions, & sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired about the way academia works! I hope you’ll join us tomorrow!

 Grad Chat promotional graphic - text reads Navigating Legal Status During Grad School # Grad Chat from PhD Balance. There is two headshots one of Fay Lin, the host and one of Sameera Nayak, this week's special guest.

You can find out more about Sameera on her social media accounts: Twitter (@Sameera_Nayak), Instagram (sameera.shukanta), and on her website.


Sameera will be taking over our Instagram account today, make sure you catch it! She will then be our Grad Chat special guest tomorrow to talk about Navigating Legal Status During Grad School. You can join the Youtube Livestream Saturday (02/27) at 3 pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific using this link!


Alternatively, you'll be able to catch up on the episode on the NEW Grad Chat podcast published next Tuesday (02/23) here!