February 11, 2020
Thirty flags line the walls of Mackay Dining Hall, only a fraction of the countries represented in the Princeton Theological Seminary community. Sharath Sowseelya, a visiting PhD scholar from Senate of Serampore University in India, took advantage of the Princeton Seminary library's plethora of resources as she finished her dissertation. We sat down with Sharath while she was on campus to hear her story.
Q: Where is home?
A: Kadapa, a town in Andhrapredesh, India. I love the varieties of my country's food — especially biriyani. India is a country of various cultures, languages, religions, faiths, religious scriptures, and life styles. The uniqueness of India is unity in diversity.
Q: What drew you to Princeton Seminary? What has your experience here been like?
A: I have come to Princeton Seminary to utilize the library resources. In my country, we don't have many recent publications. At Princeton Seminary, I have found a number of resources which we do not have in India about our own issues and addressed by our native authors. For example, I've been able to find materials on feminist theories and themes which are applied to the Indian context. These are the materials I found nowhere in India. One semester is not sufficient to utilize the library resources; there's so much here!
Another wonderful thing has been getting to know Dr. Afe Adogame, my faculty advisor. He is a profound professor and a very constructive guide. His scholarship motivated me to develop new perspectives.
Q: What's next for you?
A: Once I go back to India, I will submit my dissertation and go for defense. My work focuses on the coping mechanisms of young adult rape survivors from a feminist perspective. In addition, I am an ordained minister in the Church of South India, so I will return to my church after the completion of my PhD program. However, I am interested in teaching in a seminary, so I will look for opportunities to teach.
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