Radhika Santhanagopalan

The CDR is pleased to announce that Ph.D. student Radhika Santhanagopalan was recently awarded a 2022 University of Chicago Diversity Leadership Award. Radhika is the sole graduate student recipient alongside winners representing the staff, faculty, alumni, and undergraduate students of the university. The winners will be recognized during the university’s MLK Commemoration Celebration on February 21.

Radhika is pursuing a joint doctorate degree in psychology and behavioral science and is interested in the development of social cognition. Her current work uses a developmental lens to examine information avoidance, negotiations, and person judgments (e.g., national identity, leadership). Much of her work is also cross-cultural.

From UChicago News

Radhika Santhanagopalan is passionate about finding pathways to foster diversity and inclusion and connecting graduate students to related resources and opportunities at the University and across the city of Chicago.

A Ph.D. student in psychology and business in the Division of the Social Sciences and the Booth School of Business, Santhanagopalan served on the Graduate Council as vice president of diversity and inclusion during the 2020–21 academic year. She organized and convened the inaugural UC Juneteenth initiative, a monthlong series of events, which included a keynote address by scholar and activist Angela Davis, anti-racism workshops, and a fundraiser for Brave Space Alliance, the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center located on the South Side of Chicago. She also served as the graduate student representative on the University’s Graduate Course Evaluation Committee, working with the Office of the Provost to create standardized course evaluations across graduate divisions and incorporating questions about inclusion.

Santhanagopalan regularly seeks and develops cross-campus partnerships to expand the reach of various diversity initiatives and has worked closely with the Black Graduate Coalition and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs to advance the Graduate Council’s diversity goals. Santhanagopalan and the Graduate Council Diversity and Inclusion committee launched an anti-racist book distribution program in partnership with the Semicolon Bookstore. In addition, they developed a diversity and inclusion toolkit to help graduate student organizations foster more inclusive environments and encouraged graduate student participation in inclusive pedagogy workshops.

Beyond UChicago, Santhanagopalan is involved in mentorship programs such as iMentor and the Hyde Park Refugee Project. Santhanagopalan earned a bachelor’s degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience from the University of Michigan and a master’s in psychology from Cornell University.

Congratulations to Radhika and all of this year's winners!