Summer is here and so are the interns! This year we have four students, all from Cornell University: a hotel intern, an architecture intern, an entrepreneurship intern, and a landscape architecture/media intern. This summer the interns are working on some of our socially responsible initiatives, from designing our handicraft village to hospitality training for our village employees. Their adventure has already begun with visits to the Panigram Resort site, villages, and Sundarbans–one of the largest mangrove forests in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Center.
Hello! My name is Shuping Liu and I am the architecture intern at Panigram Resort. I’m an architecture major in my fourth year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Coincidentally, I was born in Syracuse, which is only one hour from Ithaca; however, I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. With my free time I enjoy reading, running and fixing up old bikes. You can check out some of my work at www.shupingliu.com.
As part of Panigram Resort, my main responsibilities will include planning the nearby handicraft village. I will be investigating how the villagers use and build their homes to inform the architecture of proposed market spaces, workrooms and plazas. My summer experience in Bangladesh has already been unique and rewarding. I am looking forward to putting my skills to use but also to learn from the local villagers. I can’t wait to learn how to tie my new lungi.
My name is Yohana Tsegai. I am currently a junior in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Although many people here confuse me for a local Bangladeshi, I was born in Asmara, Eritrea in East Africa. At the age of three, my family and I moved to Houston, Texas in America. No cowboy hats or boots for me, but I’m a proud Texan nonetheless. I’m one of four children — the only girl with three brothers – so I’m pretty independent. I love to travel, especially when I can visit my relatives who live all over the world.
While here at Panigram Resort, I will be in charge of creating a training program for more than 200 employees in a variety of positions. The training will include activities, video modules, and written and verbal exams. I will also be helping the Human Resource Manager craft HR policies that will take into consideration the local culture and customs. I am looking forward to helping Panigram Resort set the standard as Bangladesh’s first five-star resort.
Asalam elaiykum! My name is Kathy and I was born and raised in the crazy city of Los Angeles, California. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in landscape architecture and next year will be my final year at Cornell University. One of my greatest passions is to travel; I have visited more than 20 countries thus far. Most of my travels have taken me to Asia where I love to eat, shop and learn about the area’s culture and architecture. Spending a year in Japan and traveling inspired me to go back to school to learn more about design and the environment. I hope to focus my last year of study on sustainability and how it can be applied to ecotourism. As the summer Media Intern at Panigram, my job will be to publicize the activities leading up to the resort’s opening next year. I am excited to be part of a project that is committed to helping the people in Bangladesh as well as the local environment.
My name is Andrew Pike and I believe in development through business. Growing up and working in East Africa over the past 20 years has taught me that business, as a profit maximizer, is inherently more efficient than aid and is a large part of the solution to poverty.
At the age of 18, I became a social entrepreneur by starting my own small not-just-for-profit business. My business creates eye-catching laptop cases out of ‘Kitenge’, a traditional African fabric with intricate, colorful patterns. Everything is made in formerly war-torn Northern Uganda and allows Mama Lucy, a remarkable local entrepreneur, to expand her tailoring business and to put the 10 children she supports through school. I stress that this is business, not charity.
Panigram, which is energizing the local economy around Jessore, shares my ideals. I am excited to start my main project—a crafts village for disadvantaged women, which will provide them with a self-sustaining and long term flow of income. By selling directly to the tourists, the women are able to get higher and fairer prices and eliminate exploitative middle men.
I study Applied Economics and Management with a specialization in International Trade and Development at Cornell University. I am an avid reader of science fiction, a lover of music, disco boogie, and all things jolly. My ‘to-learn’ list includes headstands, salsa dancing and ironing. Traveling makes me feel alive and I aspire to make the most of the opportunities that cross my path. Folks, the aim is to live the dream.