Bryant Magazine Fall 2015

Page 42



A student-centered culture and purposeful academic and co-curricular programs prepare graduates to make a difference throughout their lives.

DIWAS PURI ’17: TEST SCORE EARNS HIM A FULBRIGHT AND HIS PARENTS’ FREEDOM In 2013, Diwas Puri ’17 (Thimphu, Bhutan) took a test that would not only change his life, but alter the fortunes of his family. The test would qualify him for citizenship in Bhutan, which he needed to be eligible for a Fulbright scholarship awarded only once every two years to a Bhutanese student. Puri scored so high on the test that he came to the attention of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan. Puri told the King of his desire to attain citizenship so he could attend college in the United States. While the king was researching his case, some­ thing caught his attention. Diwas Puri ’17 Major: Actuarial Science Minor: Computer Information Systems Hometown: Thimphu, Bhutan


Puri’s parents had been impris­ oned for more than a decade for unauthorized political activity. Puri was raised by relatives and traveled cross-country to see his parents in prison whenever he had the chance. Soon after Puri received his Fulbright scholarship and arrived at Bryant, the King granted his parents release from prison. “They were so proud of me,” he says, noting that although he has not seen his parents in person since they were released, he talks to them frequently over Skype. Puri continues to make his parents proud by involving him­ self in the Bryant community. He is a member of the Model United Nations Club and hosted a Global Community Hour that intro­ duced fellow students, faculty, and staff to his native country. He recalls having culture shock when he arrived on campus. “It was my first time in the United States and all I had was what I could fit in two suitcases.” He credits Bryant’s Office for Inter­ national Students and Scholars with helping make his transition as smooth as possible. After graduation, Puri, an Actuarial Mathemat­ ics major, aspires to enter a Fulbright train­ ing program that will utilize and enhance his math skills. One day, he says, he would like to serve as a Bhutanese ambassador to another country.

ASPIRING ENTREPRENEUR TIM LEVENE ’17 RECEIVES CHANGEMAKER FELLOWSHIP Tim Levene ’17 (Weston, CT) was named a Rhode Island Change­ maker Fellow for the 2015–2016 academic year. The fellowship is awarded to an aspiring entre­ preneur from each college and university in Rhode Island. “I am excited Tim Levene ’17 to start work­ ing with the other fellows and make a positive contribution to student entrepreneurship in Rhode Island,” Levene says. The program aims to better integrate students and recent graduates into Rhode Island’s startup ecosystem, open entre­ preneurship opportunities to new populations, and strengthen the flow of talent that drives startup success. A joint initiative between Social Enter­prise Greenhouse and Founders League, it was made possible by a $200,000 grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “My personal goals for the program are to support student entrepreneurs at Bryant and to emulate our successes at the other schools,” Levene says. He meets weekly with fellows from other universities, shares infor­ mation, and connects peers to local resources for entrepreneurs in Rhode Island. Levene, who is double major­ ing in entrepreneurship and applied analytics, is co-founder of The Levene Group, a holding company for aspiring entrepre­ neurs and their startup ventures.

TWO PEAS IN A (PRESIDENTIAL) POD MEET ON C-SPAN Even before he graduated from high school, Kurt Deion ’16 (Cranston, RI) had visited the resting places of all 38 deceased U.S. presidents. Since then, he’s visited every vice presidential burial site as well. Deion’s interest in presidents started with a book he read at 7. He visited his first four presi­ dential grave­ sites in 2003 at age 8. The next year, after learning that C-SPAN founder Brian Kurt Deion ’16 Lamb, inspired by historian Richard Norton Smith, had visited every single presidential grave, Deion decided to do the same. This year, Deion wrote and shared that story with Lamb. In August, Lamb interviewed Deion for an hour. Their conversation aired on C-SPAN’s Q & A. That wasn’t the only highlight of Deion’s summer. He spent 10 weeks interning in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol Histor­ ical Society. Deion is considering graduate school after graduation, and aspires to one day be a director at a presidential library. EMMANUEL BALANDI ’16: AT HOME AT BRYANT From Nepal to Burkina Faso, and Mauritania to Chad, Emmanuel Balandi ’16 has lived in many unique places, and is proud to call Bryant home. “Bryant has been welcoming to me,” Balandi says. It was my first time coming to the United States. His first week at Bryant, Balandi participated in 4Mile, a cultural

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.