Tanvi Jayaraman, Stanford University
Tanvi Jayaraman, a third year undergraduate student at Stanford University, is a Human Biology major with a deep commitment to issues of gender-based violence. Her extracurricular activities have focused primarily on prevention education for sexual assault, both as a high school student and at college. While at Stanford, Tanvi has conducted research concentrating on bystander intervention as a tool to help prevent sexual assaults. She organized an event for Stanford students to educate them about bystander intervention, and has written on the subject for the National Campus Leadership Council and The Huffington Post. Tanvi has an exceptional ability to engage and organize diverse groups of students, faculty, and high-level university administrators around social issues to bring about change. She wholly exemplifies the commitment to service, research, and advocacy that the Newman Civic Fellows Award represents.
-President John L. Hennessy, Stanford University
For the past five years, I have actively observed women around the world confronting extraordinary obstacles and gender-based violence – from my family in India to my peers, friends, and family here in the USA. In high school, I volunteered at a special needs school in Coimbatore, India where I focused on advocacy and education for developmentally disabled girls who faced societal rejection. In college, I have encountered even more jarring stories. I have held the hand of the single Hispanic mother, a survivor of domestic violence, as she recounted the stories of her abusive spouse and the reverberating impact that violence has had on her identity and the upbringing of her five children. I have also spoken to survivors of sexual assault on my campus who have suffered at the hands of other community members. These poignant experiences led me to start a new initiative stemming from the national It’s On Us campaign to start a deeper dialogue about sexual assault within our student population and start an upstander culture of love and compassion for each other, bound together by our human identity.