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Rina Patel

MA Candidate - Creative Writing, Storytelling, Anthropology

Writer, speaker, facilitator, and social entrepreneur Rina earned a BA in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Legal Studies and minors in Public Health and International Area Studies from Drexel University; she worked as a social impact strategist, helping non-profits and social enterprises grow globally. In 2011, she started a non-profit organization, Aahana, to develop education and health programs for disabled children and young women from rural villages around Gujarat, India. 

Her work and travels throughout India have influenced her thesis, “Becoming: The Story of Migration, Identity, Tradition and Finding Home from the Villages of Sabarkantha, Gujarat, India to the United States.” Her thesis is a creative nonfiction book based on the research she conducted on the migration patterns and agricultural, religious, and cultural practices of her ancestral origins in Gujarat, India. While her research highlights how her ancestors came to settle on the farming villages and eventually began to leave during pre-industrial shifts, it tells a deeper story of what it means to migrate to the West. Rina looks through the narrative of the lives of her parents, who grew up in poverty and immigrated to the United States, and she considers their journey in raising first-generation Indian Americans.

Rina Patel