Ms. Maya Ragavan

Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Program
Field of Specialization: Public Health
Name: Ms. Maya Ragavan  
Official Address: Northwestern University,Illinois
Indian Host Institution: Action, Research, and Training
in Health (ARTH), Udaipur, Rajasthan
Duration of Grant &
Start Date :
Duration: 9 months
August 2011

Brief Bio:
Ms. Maya Ragavan is a third year medical and public health student at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor's degree in psychology at Northwestern University where she focused on cross-cultural social psychology. Her honors thesis examined intergroup bias and its association with group cohesiveness. At Northwestern, she also volunteered as a crisis line counselor at an intimate partner violence shelter and designed and taught a class for her peers about intimate partner violence prevention. She had the opportunity to study abroad in India and did at internship at Action, Research, and Training in Health (ARTH) writing an ethnography about the lives of nurse-midwives. In her medical school, she and a colleague designed a web-based program to teach cultural sensitivity in the medical arena in a practical, skills-based way. This program is now offered to medical students nationally through the American Medical Students Associations (AMSA.) She also serves as the national medical education coordinator for AMSA, focusing on improving cultural sensitivity based medical education. After graduating from medical school, she will continue her training as a pediatric or family medicine resident and then hopes to practice in a primary care setting as a clinician, researcher, and public health practitioner.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a significant health concern amongst women in India. Through this project, Ms. Ragavan will examine the way that women define and apply the concept of marriage and intimate partner violence both theoretically and in their personal lives. The project will occur in Udaipur, India and will consist of 50 narrative based interviews and 300 surveys of women in the city and surrounding villages. The results will help form the basis for further larger studies and hopefully in the long run will greatly enhance knowledge about IPV in India.