Shalini Hanstad

Shalini Hanstad BA '22




Seattle, Washington and Bangalore, India

Current City

Portland, Oregon


Sociology and Anthropology


Ethnic Studies


Mixed LC Co-President, Ray Warren Symposium Co-Chair, Race Monologues Coordinator and Participant, Bollywood Club, SAAB Representative for Ethnic Studies Department, Teaching Excellence Program Student Partner, IME Great Expectations Program

Job Title, Organization

Advancement Associate at Portland Tennis & Education

Continuing Studies

Certificate in Grant Writing Program at Portland State University

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Rigorous, Intimate, PWI

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I wanted a fairly intimate liberal arts education. I knew I didn’t want to go to a big state school because I wanted to have relationships with my professors and be able to have discussion-based classes. I’m from Seattle, and I wanted something that was close to home but still out of state. Ultimately, I chose L&C because it’s very generous with financial aid.

What have you been doing since graduation?

I am currently working as the Advancement Associate for a nonprofit organization called Portland Tennis & Education (PT&E). PT&E offers academic support, tennis and athletic enrichment, life skills and mental health support, and family resources to Kindergarten through 12th grade students enrolled in our after school and summer programs. My role is dedicated to development, marketing, and volunteer coordination. I have a passion for community engagement, youth empowerment, and equitable education so I am very grateful to have found a job that aligns with my values and passions!

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?

A huge portion of my role consists of writing and applying for grants that support our organization. Lewis & Clark prepared me heavily for this by improving my writing skills. I was taught how to be a strategic reader, gather research materials, and how to efficiently compose essays. I was provided opportunities to sharpen these skills through office hours with my professors as well as the Writing Center.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

The most important thing I learned at Lewis & Clark was the transformative power of community. There were many times during my college experience where I felt isolated, especially during the height of covid. It was the care & love I received from my pockets of community that kept me going. I learned that you have to be intentional about the way you interact with people and that you will always eventually receive what you pour out.

Why did you major in Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN)?

I came into L&C undecided. I took some sociology courses, and I realized how much I loved engaging with social issues and looking at social dynamics. The thing I love most about the SOAN major is grappling with topics of race and ethnicity, and my ethnic studies minor allowed me to make that my focus in my major since I have a lot of overlapping classes.

I also like doing ethnographic research. Many of my SOAN projects allowed me to get to know a lot more people on campus through interview-based research and ethnographic fieldwork. My senior thesis is centered around the learning experiences of darker-skinned students at L&C within predominantly white classroom settings. My research highlights the ways in which experiences of students of color, especially darker students of color, are often dismissed or overlooked in relation to the larger student population. I really wanted to give a focus to a marginalized group on campus that I thought wasn’t getting enough attention.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I attended the 2022 Ray Warren Symposium opening reception and events and I plan to continue attending RWS in the future! However, the main way I stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum is through the relationships I have cultivated. I currently live with some of my best friends from undergrad who are now pursuing their masters at Lewis & Clark! I also stay in contact with many of my professors and friends :)

What was your favorite class?

Race and Ethnicity in the United States (History 240) with Reiko Hillyer. I took that class my first year at L&C, and it remains one of my favorites because it challenged my previous education the most, and it really opened my eyes to the way that I was falsely educated about our country’s history. It was also one of the first courses that introduced me to concepts of critical race theory. Looking back, that was probably the course that altered my worldviews the most.

Sociology and Anthropology