Viraj Patel, University of Pennsylvania
Viraj Patel is a community organizer, activist, and higher education administrator in Philadelphia, PA. Her paid labor is serving as the Associate Director at the Pan-Asian American Community House at the University of Pennsylvania as part of a multi-generational and multi-ethnic team supporting a student-centered space through community development, advocacy, crisis response, and cultivation of social, educational, and leadership programs. Prior to this, Viraj also held positions in Residence Life, Student Activities, Off Campus Student Affairs, and Graduate Student Services. Valuing an interdisciplinary and multi-methods approach to serving as a change agent, Viraj has organized with the Philadelphia South Asian Collective and East Coast Solidarity Summer, an empowerment and leadership camp for South Asian and Indo-Caribbean diaspora youth. She is a founding sister of the Philadelphia Chapter of NAPAWF and also serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership.
Viraj's approach to social change is heavily rooted in transnational feminism, critical race theory, grassroots organizing, femme-centered leadership, and community building for change.
Viraj holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in English with a minor in Asian American Studies, and an M.Ed from the University of Vermont. Viraj is also an alumnus of the NUFP program and attended the Dungy Leadership Institute, She has served in a variety of roles with NASPA, most recently as a faculty member for the Dungy Leadership Instute at CSU Fullerton.