|Kate Lyons, a standout student from Lower Lake, Calif., has received a bachelor of arts degree with high honors in South and Southeast Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Courtesy photo.|
LOWER LAKE, Calif. – Kate Alexandra Lyons, a 2008 graduate of Lower Lake High School, received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley on May 12.
Lyons graduated with high honors, majoring in South and Southeast Asian studies, and received the Departmental Citation Award for outstanding scholarship.
She minored in the popular and relatively new Global Poverty and Practice (GPP) program which inspired her continued interest in India and the plight of poor populations in developing countries.
The Global Poverty and Practice minor, the largest minor at UC Berkeley, comprises core classes that present methods to alleviate poverty at home and abroad, emphasizing practical knowledge.
“Students are taught to look at the problems facing the world, to recognize inequality and to understand it,” Lyons said. “But the most important thing the minor teaches its students is the power and importance of humility. We don’t take our privilege for granted, nor do we impose our ideas on others. GPP students address the world with an enthusiasm for learning, and compassion that is founded in pragmatism. It’s been the most valuable experience of my undergraduate work.”
As part of the "Practice," component of the Global Poverty and Practice minor, Lyons received an internship with Tata, a large multinational conglomerate in India. She spent three months there in 2010 working for the company’s Tata International Entrepreneurship Scheme.
She worked with their telecommunications company, Tata Telecommunications Limited in New Delhi, India. She learned about green technology initiatives and helped Tata work with their nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners including Blind Relief Association in New Delhi, Ama Center for the Intellectually Challenged in Bangalore, and others.
She wrote a survey in Hindi that was distributed to the participants in these NGOs and completed a report at the end of her internship with thoughts and suggestions for improving the company.
Lyons was involved in many activities while attending Cal. She was active in the UC Berkeley Model UN program, worked with Professor Sally Goldman as an undergraduate research assistant, served as a peer advisor for the GPP minor for two years, worked as a staff reporter for the Daily Californian for one semester and studied abroad at Delhi University during the Fall of 2011.
In her work with Doctor Sally Goldman she compiled a bibliography on Sita, the heroine of the Indian epic the Ramayana. In this she read countless articles, books and other source materials about Sita in order to produce a detailed bibliography that anyone doing research on the topic of Sita will be able to consult.
Next year Lyons will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a graduate degree in linguistics. She plans to focus on the socio-linguistics of Northern India, particularly Hindi. She is interested in the effects of globalization on Hindi morpho-syntax and pragmatics.
This summer Lyons will work for the Blum Center at Cal as a writer, working on publicity, internal reports and stories about Blum Center projects and GPP students.
She is the daughter of Harry and Roberta Lyons of Lower Lake.
She has fond memories of her days at Lower Lake High School and appreciates the help of her many excellent teachers there.