This year’s class of Hart Fellows is seven months into their fellowship. As is typical, their research projects and lives abroad have shifted from their initial expectations. Here are some updates from their lives and work:
Sanjeev Dasgupta, who is working with the Issarra Institute in Bangkok, Thailand, has taken on a larger role leading the research efforts of his organization. The Issarra Institute interfaces between multi-national buyers and suppliers to help monitor labor conditions and prevent human trafficking. Although his initial research idea centered around migrant worker’s perceptions of the changing work documentation requirements for securing legal status in Thailand, his work has become more focused on data analysis. Issarra has obtained a dataset from the Myanmar government documenting legal labor migration between Myanmar and Thailand that he is currently analyzing.
Work remains busy as he balances site visits, conferences, data analysis and the occasional trip to Myanmar. He continues to enjoy life in Bangkok and stay active playing soccer – even though temperatures are soaring to 90 degrees in the winter season and air pollution is particularly bad.
Michaela Stith is living in Tromsø, Norway as a fellow at the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat of the Arctic Council. IPS tries to facilitate indigenous peoples’ participation in the work of the Council – a group of eight nations bordering the Arctic. Work has been busy, as she has helped draft reports and prepare for conferences. At one conference, Stith was excited to see Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who thanked her for her work.
Despite a busy work schedule, Michaela has managed to carve out time for her research, which now focuses on a survey of how Arctic Council policymakers value indigenous knowledge and input in their decision-making. Winter days in Norway are short, but she has still managed to find time go outside — even in -30 degree temperatures — to visit reindeer herds and learn more about the local culture.
Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi lives in Hong Kong and works for the Fair Employment Agency, a non-profit that aims to improve industry standards for hiring migrant domestic workers. He recently returned from a trip to Manila where he was visiting a training center for domestic workers. Employing domestic workers is a large part is a part of the culture in Hong Kong – he is interested in studying the workers’ motivations moving abroad. He is currently interviewing workers for his research.
Outside work, he has enjoyed exploring Hong Kong. He has resolved to emphasize self-improvement and self-care in 2019, attempting to drink more water, stay active playing soccer, and learn Cantonese.
To read more about Sanjeev, Michael and Andrew’s work and to read samples from their writing, visit our Fellows in the Field page.