Meet the Organizers


Elise Auerbach is the U.S. Director of the American Institute of Indian Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Nick Gottschall

Nick Gottschall is an international higher education professional with a focus on South Asia. His experience of working, studying, and traveling in India has included recent stints as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in New Delhi, and, along with his wife, as producer of a series of promotional videos for the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS). In addition to serving as Media and Communications Specialist with AIIS, he currently works as a consultant for the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, where he received an MA in South Asian Studies in 2015.


Jazmin Graves is a doctoral student in the South Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago. Jazmin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2013, graduating magna cum laude as a Middle Eastern South Asian and African Studies major with a Linguistics concentration. Jazmin’s research concerns premodern Indo-Muslim literature, with particular focus on the Islamic devotional tradition of the Sidis of western India.


Dr. Arlene P. Maclin is internationally recognized and recently chronicled in The Historymakers for her outstanding achievement as an educator, researcher, administrator and mentor. Dr. Maclin is a physicist by training and has spent the past 30 years in a combination of academic and government service positions.  Her academic service includes more than 15 years of teaching at the levels of associate and full professors with administrative experience at the level of an associate dean of a college of arts and science, and a director of research. She is an active recruiter of undergraduate and graduate students for STEM programs throughout the nation.


Grace Olubowale is a junior at Howard University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English. Last summer, she studied as a Gilman Scholar at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Jaipur, India. She is very passionate about Indian culture and language.


Megan Preston is a sophomore at Howard University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. Although Megan is a STEM major, she has a passion for learning about all languages and cultures, and she will continue that this summer through study abroad in Colombia and New Zealand. Her passion for the Indian culture was ignited after studying as a Gilman Scholar at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Jaipur, India this past summer.