P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Pooja Reddy, 2020

PhD, Stanford University

Pooja Reddy is the child of immigrants from India

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering at Stanford University

Pooja Reddy was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Indian immigrant parents. Growing up, she loved to draw and paint and defined herself as an artist. When her family moved back to India, things shifted—she deepened her understanding of family and community, as well as a humbler way of living, but creativity was not encouraged at her school and she found that there were often lower expectations for women than men. Pooja moved back to the United States for high school where she was able to dive back into art and express herself again through creative means. Between her experiences in India and attending high school in a majority white district, Pooja resolved to defy expectations based on race and gender. 

At MIT, Pooja has taken on leadership positions and uses her voice to support others. She especially enjoys being a teaching assistant and tailoring her teaching to individual student backgrounds. Pooja also lends her experience to peer-mentoring in various outlets at MIT, including her major, dorm, and the greater first-year population. Pooja has also continued her creative pursuits at MIT through metalsmithing, and by running the MIT Art Club so people have a free, accessible creative outlet.

At MIT, Pooja was fascinated by the possibility of understanding matter at the smallest scale. Studying materials science and engineering has given Pooja the tools to build structures that create the functional matter and materials used in every industry today. Through working in the Laboratory of Nanomagnetism and Spin Dynamics, with Professor Geoffrey Beach, Pooja found a passion for solid-state physics and device technology. 

Materials advances has the potential to enable renewable technologies, batteries and even unconscionable data processing. Pooja’s long-term goal is to use materials science to create new materials and devices for information technology. Advancing the nanoelectronics industry would enable new paradigms of information technology and scientific progress. 

  • BS Materials Science and Engineering | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2020
  • PhD Materials Science & Engineering | Stanford University
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