Manisha Vepa pursues interest in East Asian affairs as Fulbright Scholar in South Korea

Manisha Vepa
B.A., Economics and Global Studies
Minor: Music
Summa Cum Laude
Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland
Plans: Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, South Korea

UMBC has afforded me many critical opportunities to gain the quantitative skills required for a career in foreign policy, as well as to cultivate a passion for research and East Asian affairs.

Manisha Vepa came to UMBC ready to explore — both driven to excel academically and excited to become an active member of a caring community. As a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar, she was particularly interested in learning about the diverse needs of different communities and how public policy can affect communities, locally and internationally.

“The mentorship I have received from my professors and staff advisors has been invaluable,” says Vepa. “They have taught me how to be reflective, analytical, and mindful in both my personal and academic lives.”

Vepa was confirmed for her position in UMBC’s SGA in her freshman year. Photo courtesy of Vepa.

Vepa’s particular interest in Asian culture and policy led her to study in Hong Kong for a semester. She will continue her exploration of Asian cultures as an English-language educator through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program in South Korea, before pursuing a graduate degree in East Asian affairs.

On campus, Vepa has served as president of the UMBC Moot Court for the past three years, a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) for four years, and Assistant Speaker of the Senate for 2017-18. She also found balance in continuing her study of music as a Music Performance Fellow by playing the viola in the UMBC Symphonic Orchestra all semesters except for when she studied abroad. While abroad she played in two orchestras in Hong Kong. In addition, she served as a tutor in the Refugee Youth Project at Beechfield Elementary/Middle School.

“I have grown as a leader through my involvement in Student Government Association, the local community, and my international opportunities,” says Vepa. “My experiences empowered me to be an active part in social change efforts and helped me develop a deep passion and understanding for civic engagement and civic agency that has guided my college career.”

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.