Iva Patel is concurrently pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies and an MFA in Literary Translation with a project that combines tools of both fields. With guidance of advisers from three departments, she is pursuing a project that studies 19th century pedagogical poetry of sectarian Hindu ascetics from the martial region of peninsular Gujarat, India. She also studies vernacular literature of the region, examines simply-stated religious ideologies of devotional practice, and reads and translates from Gujarati, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindi and its dialects.
Iva received her Bachelor's degrees in Biological Sciences and English (Journalism) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her Master's in South Asia Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a recipient of several travel and research grants including the Benjamin Franklin Fellowship and a grant from the Center for the Advanced Study of India. Most recently, she was a recipient of the Stanley Award, which funded her summer research at the British Library in London.
Iva has served as a teaching assistant or primary instructor for several courses during her graduate career thus far, including Hindu Mythology, Traditional Medicine of Asia: Ayurveda, Introduction to Buddhism, Judeo-Christian Tradition, Medieval Religion and Culture, Religion and Liberation, and Sexual Ethics. As a freelance presenter and tutor for the past decade, Iva also has extensive experience with public speaking and teaching students of all ages and backgrounds.