#WomenWednesday: Meet India!

   Yasha Spriha is studying English Literature. Yasha is a liberal individual who believes in equality and justice. She is very passionate about women’s literature in specific. Her personal interests include reading, writing, and listening to music. Yasha loves to have conversations and believes in the power of words. India is a secular country according to Yasha, there are several religions coexisting within its national boundaries. As a Hindu Indian woman, her mission is to develop inter-communal relationships and create equality in the Indian society. Yasha believes that the KWLI is an opportunity of a lifetime. She hopes that her time with the KWLI will give her the opportunity to discover new dimensions of her personality and identity. She hopes to create a safer and more respectful environment for women. Her favorite quote is “I am not bird; and no net ensures me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” By Charlotte Bronte.

Sampriti Mukherjee is a third year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Social Sciences with a specialization in Economic, Political Science, and Sociology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad. Sampriti is passionate about gender rights and eliminating all forms of gender violence, providing better health and sanitation opportunities to women as well as ensuring equality to people of all genders and sexual orientation. She considers herself an ambivert and loves to play violin. Sampriti says the KWLI has been “nothing short of a dream come true.” Sampriti hopes to break away from her cocoon and learn to get out of her comfort zone. Moreover, she hopes she can take the skills she has learned during her time with the KWLI and help empower the women in her local community so that they can live healthier, productive and more enriched lives. Her favorite movie is Forrest Gump featuring Tom Hanks, and the reason for that is because this movie taught her about perseverance and to love herself for whom she is.

Saudamini Gupta is studying law with a specialization in constitutional and governance laws. She is a secular person and believes in the power of women. Saudamini enjoys having meaningful conversations about issues related to different communities. She says that India has a reservation policy for making underprivileged classes to be at par for with the privileged classes socially, economically, politically, and educationally. Saudamini hopes to develop as a human and become more sensitive to others. She is excited to apply the concepts of adaptive leadership to her projects back in India. Her favorite quote is “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” by Mahatama Gandhi.

Aprajita Verma is a Social Science major, specializing in International Relations, Economics, and History. Aprajita strongly supports intersectional feminism and human rights. She sees herself as an active listener and likes to engage in meaningful discussions. Some of her hobbies include reading non-fiction books, listening to music, and playing chess. She says that India remains as one of the few liberal democratic countries that has maintained an open door policy for refugees, migrants, the stateless, and displaced people. Through the KWLI she hopes to deconstruct the idea of leadership and develop a holistic understanding of the dynamic concept of adaptive leadership. She believes that this program has been an insightful journey towards the realization that leadership is a process we must engage in it with all our heart, mind, and soul. Aprajita’s favorite quote is “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong in the world.” By Paul Farmer.

#WomenWednesday: Meet Mongolia!


Ichinkhorloo Khosbayar (Oko) is studying International Relations, and was a part of AIESEC for almost two years and got the opportunity to go to Thailand for six weeks! She says Mongolia is known because of famous people such as Genghis Khan, but there is more to Mongolia than just that; they have their own unique tradition, culture, and language. Oko says today (June 29th) is actually an important day for Mongolians because they have parliament elections to elect new representatives for the next 4 years. During her time at KWLI, Oko hopes to meet new people and learn about their history and culture, and gain public speaking skills. Oko would also like to learn about each woman’s contribution to society! Her favorite movie is “7 Pounds” and her favorite quote is “rise and shine!”

Khulan Givaasuren is a senior at the National University of Mongolia studying International Journalism. She is excited to spend her time with such encouraging women and thinks it will be a great opportunity for self-development. Khulan believes that the KWLI will help her a create a tight network between the women from across the globe! She also believes that the KWLI will help guide her to find some solutions to the bigger issues facing the women in Mongolia. Khulan hopes to learn about the culture and traditions in the United States. Her favorite movie is “127 Hours” and her favorite song is “Ain’t Your Mama” by Jennifer Lopez.

Bujinlkham Bandikhuu studies The University of Finance and Economics majoring in Business Economics. Bujnlkham enjoys TedTalks, photography, Russian literature, hiking, and meditating! She says that Mongolia is one of the developing countries in the world with a sky that is ocean blue, which is why it is known as The Land of The Blue Sky. Bujinlkham hopes to enhance her leadership skills through KWLI and develop her network of professional acquaintances and make new friends along the way. Her favorite quote is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” by Lao Tzu.

Tungalag Adiya is a senior in college studying at the University of Finance and Economics and is majoring in accounting. Her interest in accounting started when she took a math class in high school and fell in love with numbers! She believes that numbers reflect thousands of words without needing any translation, and her goal is to become a skilled accountant and contribute to her country’s value as much as possible. Tungalag says that Mongolia is a large landlocked country between Russia and China and that the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, means “red hero” in English. Tungalag hopes to learn from the other women at KWLI. She wants to learn about all the cultures and countries and knows that KWLI will open her eyes to the vast world around her. Her favorite quote is is by Winston Churchill and he states: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Meet the 2019 Kansas Participants!

We are so thrilled to welcome this year’s class of Kansas participants to the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute! This stellar group will work right alongside our international participants this summer for a transformative six weeks. Learn more about each of them below.

Melissa King

Washburn University
Double majoring in Political Science and Mass Media with an emphasis in Public Relations
Satanta, Kansas

My name is Melissa King and I’m from Satanta, Kansas. I’m currently a sophomore at Washburn University double majoring in Political Science and Mass Media with an emphasis in Public Relations. At Washburn, I’m involved in the Leadership Institute, Washburn Student Government Association, and Zeta Tau Alpha. I currently intern in the Kansas Senate. My passions include gender equality, disability rights, and politics. By attending the KWLI, I hope to gain the leadership skills I need to create positive and effective change in my campus community. I’m excited to be able to network with other women leaders and become a better changemaker.

Alexandria Kultgen

Fort Hays State University
Organizational Leadership major
Hays, Kansas

I was born in Wuhan, China and adopted at 9 months old. I grew up in Waco, Texas and then lived overseas in both China and Oman with my mom while in high school. I am a junior at Fort Hays State University. I’m an Organizational Leadership major and my passion truly is leadership; specifically pertaining to women’s rights, human rights, and civil rights. I hope to get to learn more about leadership from my peers and I hope to create fun and meaningful memories while doing so!

Bergen Mauerhan

University of Kansas
Chemistry Major with a Pre-Medicine path
Mankato, Kansas

My name is Bergen Mauerhan, and I’m from a very small town called Mankato in rural north central Kansas! I am currently a freshman Bio Chemistry Major at the University of Kansas on a Pre-Medicine pathway. I am very passionate about healthcare and have recently found a new found passion in leadership studies! I spend most of my time on my studies, but I love spending my free time doing anything and everything with my friends and family. I hope to meet some amazing people and grow my passion and knowledge of leadership through my participation in the KWLI!

Cassandra Roque

Pittsburg State University
Majoring in Integrated Studies with an emphasis In Sustainability, Society, and Resource Management
Westwood, Kansas

Hello! My name is Cassandra Roque I am from Westwood Kansas. I am currently a junior at Pittsburg State University and will hopefully be graduating spring 2020. My major is in Integrated Studies with an emphasis In Sustainability, Society, and Resource Management. As my degree entails, I am interested in the environment and other topics that relate to sustainability. I am also very passionate about diversity and increasing exposure of different cultures in the environments that I am in. I like being involved on my campus and getting to know people. I hold a few leadership positions here at PSU as the president of Hispanics of Today and president of a multicultural interest group for a sorority. I am driven to better my leadership while getting to know other women who are just as determined. KWLI I think will be a great experience for this and I am so excited to gain information from inspiring females that I will have the privilege to get to know.