Indian American James A. Mathew and Ifeoma E. White-Thorpe will lead the next session of the Undergraduate Council at Harvard as president and vice president, respectively, despite not receiving the most first-choice votes, the UC Election Commission announced. Mathew and White-Thorpe ran on a campaign to foster inclusion and improve student wellness and safety under the slogan “Harvard Can’t Wait.” Mathew is a Mather House resident who serves as one of two chiefs of inclusion and belonging on current UC president Sruthi Palaniappan ’20 and vice president Julia M. Huesa’s Executive Cabinet, a report notes. The duo won the election despite the fact that they did not receive the most first-choice votes under the Borda voting system the Council adopted last year. Voters ranked all five candidates, and each ticket received a quantity of points corresponding to its ranking on the ballot — first-choice tickets received one point, second-choice tickets received 0.5 points, third-choice received 0.33, fourth-choice received 0.25, and fifth-choice received 0.2. Aditya A. Dhar and Andrew W. Liang — a Crimson business associate — received the most first-choice votes, with 1,063 students ranking the ticket as their top choice. Mathew and White-Thorpe followed with 1,025 first-choice votes, and Sanika S. Mahajan and Rushi A. Patel came in third with 965 first-choice votes.

The Ritz-Carlton Debuts in Pune

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC has launched The Ritz-Carlton, Pune, the second hotel in India from the iconic luxury hotel brand. The hotel features 198 elegantly appointed guestrooms, including 35 plush suites, designed to be refined and relaxing sanctuaries that are also the largest in the city. Guests staying on the Club Level floors will enjoy access to a signature Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, an urban sanctuary on the 18th floor that features picturesque views of the golf course, private check-in, a dedicated Club Concierge, and a variety of culinary presentations throughout the day. It captures the essence of the destination with five signature dining experiences. The 25,000 sq. ft. wellness floor includes a Fitness Studio and Yoga Deck, allowing guests to maintain their wellness routines even while traveling. The Ritz-Carlton Spa with its 8 treatment rooms and Express Pods combines bespoke services, custom facials and unique treatments steeped in Ayurveda traditions and chakra energy inviting guests to indulge in relaxation while they immerse themselves in discovery of the local culture. The hotel also boasts 35,000 square feet of elegantly designed banquet facilities that are suited to gatherings of all kinds, from business meetings to social affairs. With access to a beautiful outdoor foyer and deck area, the ballrooms are perfect for intimate gatherings and romantic weddings alike. 

Five Ph.D. Students from India Win Annual International Cook-Off

Five students from India took home the first-place medal during this year’s 12th annual International Cook-Off by creating a classic entree and drink from their country. Six teams from India, Indonesia, Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam collaborated with the Office of Global Education and Kent State Dining Services to cater traditional dishes for over 350 people. Each group started preparing their dishes three days before the event and spent nearly seven hours a day cooking up until the day of the Cook-Off. Their goal was not only to feed people food they would love, but to also honor their country. When the voting polls closed, each group waited along the stage to see if a photo of their country would appear as one of the top three picks. China was announced as the third place winner and Indonesia came in second place. After a long pause, cheers filled the room when India was announced the winner. 

Tears filled the eyes of the first place winners: Monica Ghosh, Nikita Kirkise, Manasi Agrawal, Tes Rajesh Nakashe and Nega Bhavnani as the group hugged and high-fived one another, according to a Kent Wired report. “This is actually a very emotional experience for me, honestly,” Ghosh said in the report. “We love and miss our country every moment, so on an emotional platform, this just means so much to us.” India has taken home the title of first place for two years now and is still motivated to win next year. “There are no words to describe this feeling,” Agrawal added in the report. “I wish there were, but you cannot describe this sort of happiness in words.”

Rightway Healthcare Secures $20M Series B Financing

Rightway Healthcare, a New York-based patient navigation and healthcare advocacy platform for employers and their employees, announced it secured $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Thrive Capital. The financing will be used to expand Rightway's world-class navigation platform and explore new opportunities to deliver its products across the healthcare sector. “Rightway is modernizing the fragmented healthcare ecosystem by combining its innovative technology with devoted healthcare professionals to provide a high quality, cost efficient navigation platform for employers and their employees,” said Kareem Zaki, general partner at Thrive Capital. “There is significant demand for an improved healthcare navigation solution. We’re particularly excited to help Rightway enter into pharmacy benefits, an area perfectly suited for their model. We look forward to working closely with Jordan and his team as they continue to improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs for employers.” With the additional capital from Thrive, Rightway will continue to build its proprietary software and deliver its services to more customers across the healthcare industry, including expanding into the important category of pharmacy benefits.

By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr., India-West Staff Reporter

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