Ishani Premaratne

School: Harvard University

Year: Class of 2015

Hometown: Richmond, Va.

College activities: Crimson Care Collaborative, Harvard Undergraduate, Global Health Forum, Social Innovation Collaborative, Co-founder of a social enterprise called GrowLanka, Women in Business, Harvard Figure Skating Club coach. In general, I’m a global health enthusiast, budding social entrepreneur and an advocate for women’s empowerment — as well as an avid blogger with my equally crazy twin sister at

How do you see the evolution of the newspaper in the next five years?

I think the newspaper will face significant challenges as it tries to reach an increasingly digital audience. That being said, I also believe that the ongoing shift in the way we consume media and the form which it takes presents an incredible opportunity for real innovation in the journalism industry. That is the only way that we will be able to preserve the art and discipline of storytelling in a world where 140 character messages and sound bites seem to rule the day.

Five reasons you love your school:

1. The incredible classmates, friends and peers that remind me that the experience of learning is in no way limited to the classroom.

2. 3 Starbucks within a five-mile radius. Yes, it’s an addiction, but nothing says “rekindle the joy” like a salted hot caramel hot chocolate on a snowy afternoon.

3. An array of incredibly diverse professors who are willing to stand up and profess their love for their subject in front of an audience everyday — 9 a.m. or 2 p.m., they are there and they are ready to share their passion with those of us who are so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to listen.

4. The blockmates and linkmates who keep me sane even when the deadlines have piled up and the coffee seems to have its vanishing act down.

5. The spirit of innovation — Harvard is a vibrant place with engineers, scientists, writers, artists and free thinkers who serve as a true testament to the power of collaboration and the freedom to create.

If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

The ability to be in two places at once.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter?

That’s a hard one, but Christiane Amanpour because she reminds me that no college bubble can keep you away from the rest of the world.

If you could travel to any country, where would you go?


What is the most interesting article you’ve ever written?

I don’t know about most interesting, but this one, which I wrote on the blog I have with my twin sister called Seeingitoi, is definitely one of my favorites. It was a wonderful way to wrap up my two-month experience spent traveling and working in Tanzania.

One of the most quirky things about you is…

My face is very expressive (in other words, I am probably the worst Mafia player there is).

What was the last (non-required) book that you read?

Half the Sky

What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A twin, a doctor and a writer. So that’s three things, but since I had achieved the first one on day zero, I’ve spent the 19 years since then working to make the other two a reality.