Graduate Division welcomes new Funding Peer Advisor for 2020-2021

by Graduate Division Staff
Thursday, September 10, 2020 5:00 PM

The Graduate Division is excited to welcome our new Funding Peer Advisor, Ranjani Atur. Ranjani will work to help graduate students search for funding opportunities and improve their financial literacy. Read on to find out more about Ranjani!


I grew up in Maryland and spent the first twenty-two years of my life bouncing around the greater DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) region. Although I have gradually become a Southern Californian (green smoothies, anyone?), I love the East Coast and hope to move back there someday! As a second-generation immigrant, and as someone in the 24th grade (as my nephew likes to point out), I have spent a lot of time in academic settings learning the ins and outs of funding, especially for students in the humanities. I have dedicated even more time to exploring “side-hustles” like tutoring, editing, and teaching music to fund my hobbies! I am excited to share my knowledge with my fellow grad students as the new Funding Peer.  


My research revolves around the various religions of the Ancient Mediterranean world, namely ancient Greek religion and early Christianity, as well as contact between these traditions and other religions throughout the ancient Near East and Asia. I focus on material religion, looking at the way material objects and buildings reflect the religious beliefs of ancient populations. My interests include religious experience, sacred space, and images of gods. One of the biggest perks of my research is getting to travel to Rome, Greece, and India, and eating amazing food in all these cool places!


I am obsessed with British murder mysteries: I spend too much of my time rereading Agatha Christie’s works and watching shows like Father Brown and Endeavour. I enjoy knitting and have been (slowly) working on a blanket this past year, now scheduled for completion in 2025. I lost my umbrella in Pompeii in the House of the Lovers in 2012 and continue to look for it every time I visit. I play South Indian classical music on the violin, make my own paneer (a type of cheese) from scratch, and love green tea.


My graduate school career would not have been possible without a whole lot of funding and a whole lot of help, so I am very excited to pay it forward in my role as Graduate Funding Peer Advisor. I will be offering several workshops throughout the year about finding funding, budgeting, taxes, and other financial topics. I'll also be available for one-on-one advising. I am committed to helping you with your funding needs in whatever way that I can, especially as we all figure out how to navigate the unprecedented difficulties that the global pandemic has thrust upon us.

Welcome, Ranjani!