2022 CESF Collaboration Champion Awardee

Sophie Tayade is an undergraduate student and founding director of a summer art program in partnership with the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP). She is experienced in inspiring student involvement through her role as a Blue & Gold Society Ambassador, where she strengthened student ties to the University and alumni. As an ambassador for the European Studies Center, she assisted students in internationalizing their plans of study. Sophie began working with BCAP as Campus Director for the first Pitt cohort of the Millennium Fellowship in 2019, a sustainable and social impact fellowship put on by the United Nations Academic Impact initiative.

Sophie wanted to learn more about the Bhutanese and Nepali community, one of the largest and most organized immigrant and refugee groups in Pittsburgh, and her partnership with BCAP grew from health education and youth tutoring to a summer enrichment program. She led a team of Pitt student volunteers to provide fifteen hours a week of lessons for ukulele, acting, dance and general arts. Due to the pandemic, programming evolved in a virtual setting to engage and connect young students while alleviating some stress from their families who may be working from home. Sophie applied and received funding from the University Honors College Racism Pandemic Project grant and recently, the CESF Partnership of Distinction Award to support the summer program, allowing them to embark on their third consecutive year. 

Sophie is pursuing a double degree in Rehabilitation Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies “Multimedia Health Communication.” She plans on working as a physician while using media and storytelling to share valuable health information with audiences of different backgrounds. She credits the University for illuminating to her the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and is grateful for the support from faculty and her peers in allowing her to combine her excitement for art and service.