Profile: Mallika Auplish

Rotary Scholarship rockets student’s studies to Costa Rica

By Anthea Williams

No two ports are the same. Mallika Auplish has seen this first-hand. Growing up with a father who was a merchant naval officer gave her the opportunity to travel the world and experience it from a different lens. Travel largely influenced the fourth-year sociology student to get involved in her own community, as well as envision our global world as one big community.

It also helped her to earn a generous Rotary Scholarship to travel to Costa Rica – a community she is dedicated to help re-build. Mallika aims to work for a non-profit organization or within the United Nations, eventually, where she hopes to be involved with the decision-making process in order to effect change in policy and programs to aid post-conflict reconstruction. Of course she also plans on pursuing further education, perhaps even a PhD in peace-building and international development.

The Rotary Foundation’s Global Grant is just the rocket to fuel Mallika’s dreams. The $30,000 scholarship awards a student the opportunity to study abroad and Mallika has chosen to study in Costa Rica at The University for Peace (UPEACE). Here, she hopes to gain the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in post-conflict community development. The University for Peace, according to Mallika, is built on the foundation of promoting peace along with gender equality, both of which are issues she strongly believes in. A United Nations-mandated university, UPEACE utilizes a holistic approach towards nurturing socially responsible practitioners. Its promotion of social justice through applied research, public awareness, international co-operation, and community outreach strikes a chord with Mallika’s beliefs and values.

Coming from a women’s university college, Mallika finds that feminism is an underlying notion in all classroom discussions. She insists she will be leaving Brescia “with a strong sense of the kind of feminism needed to empower women today.” Her studies in sociology at Brescia have given her the “roots” that inform her community work. Classes in community development, social inequalities, economics, women’s studies, and political science have illustrated the disparities present in society today and have offered methods to alleviate them.

Mallika focuses her peace-building efforts on a gendered perspective in order to draw awareness “to aid vulnerable populations in conflict-ridden and under-developed regions.” This, she hopes, will provide people with essential life skills, to promote self-sufficiency. The empowerment of women and children has immense positive consequences on a community. With this in mind, Mallika hopes to “partake in the peace-building process in such a manner that peace reaches every single member of the conflict-ridden world, not only the ones with more power, prestige, or prowess.”

Brescia created an environment where Mallika could enhance her leadership skills and gain self-fulfillment. Brescia taught Mallika how to embrace the leader within. As an international student Mallika was amazed how the campus became her “home” in less than six months. “Everyone at Brescia is so inspiring in his/her own way… and I feel so thankful that I chose this incredible community to study at.” As Mallika looks south for new inspiration, she expects to receive an education that will propel her towards achieving her goals and dreams. She also hopes to become more comfortable speaking Spanish, and of course master the Salsa!