Padmini Asha Retnasami-Kennedy

  • 2021 Summer Intern

Padmini Asha Retnasami-Kennedy is a rising senior from Smith College and APA presenter (2020) with a double major in Psychology and Biological Sciences. Her main concentrations are in Neuroscience, Ecology, and Genetics. Hailing from Mauritius, a sub-tropical island off the coast of Madagascar, she grew up in a diverse, multi-cultural environment.

Developing an interest in psychology from an early age, she helped found the Powerful Women’s Society, an organization on Mauritius that aids women in escaping and recovering from abusive situations. Alongside this, she has worked with disenfranchised populations, including young adults and adolescents, since 2018. During her undergraduate years at Smith college, she has focused on areas of substance use/addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Asha’s primary goals are to reduce the stigma of mental health and improve quality of treatment through new and innovative therapies in foreign countries, such as India and those of Africa, as well as her own home country, Mauritius.

During her time in the Columbia Global Mental Health Programs (GMHP) summer internship program, she has worked under the supervision of Neha Kinariwalla on two projects: the Humanology Project and the Pathos Pieces. The Humanology Project is focused on the improvement of mental wellness and de-stigmatization of those with neurological illnesses in various areas from housing, to employment, and medical care through awareness. The Pathos Pieces strives to raise awareness and express the humanity of those with mental illness across the globe by providing a story-sharing platform for those who wish to share their experiences. The Pathos Pieces also translates academic papers and other peer reviewed literature into more accessible articles for the general public. Through this, we hope to normalize mental health, wellness, its treatment, and encourage those with neurological illnesses to reach out, seek help, and share their experiences.

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