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KU students among top competitors at 2018 Yale Hindi Debate

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

LAWRENCE – Two University of Kansas students were among the top competitors at the 2018 Yale Hindi Debate. This marks the second year that KU has participated in the event, which draws a number of students from top national colleges and universities.

Srishti Sharma, an Overland Park sophomore in business and health & exercise science, won the Yale Hindi debate in the “Heritage” category. Marie Hornung, an Overland Park sophomore in communications minoring in French, placed second in the “Non-Native, Non-Heritage” category. The students were chaperoned by Patrica Sabarwal, Hindi instructor at KU, and Deeplata Rahul, visiting Fulbright Scholar from India. Sharma and Hornung’s outstanding placements against Ivy League competitors showcase the strength of KU’s growing Hindi program and underline KU’s dedication to the study of less commonly taught languages.

“I am extremely proud of both my students for bagging the prizes in their respective categories at the Yale Hindi Debate this year,” Sabarwal said. “Srishti spoke almost like a native speaker. Her fluency and expression were unmatched across all categories. Marie did an amazing job as well, articulating with perfection. It takes a lot of courage and skill to give a speech in a language that you did not grow up with.”

Sprung from student initiative, the Yale Hindi Debate grew beyond the Yale community, and in its 11th edition, the debate drew participants from Brown University, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, University of Chicago, New York University, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania and Yale. In 2017, KU was invited for the first time and won first place in the “Non-Native, Non-Heritage” category. KU has now established itself as a top-tier competitor in the annual debate.

Sabarwal plans to return in 2019 to defend KU’s titles.

From left: Srishti Sharma, Deeplata Rahul, Patrica Sabarwal and Marie Hornung at the Yale Hindi Debate 2018.


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Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

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