Ayda BA, MA Candidate

Columbia University
(In-person, Online)


University of San Francisco, MA Counseling Psychology (expected 2023)
Columbia University, BA in Sociology and Political Science

Immigration, social welfare

During her time at Columbia, Ayda made the Dean’s List multiple times and served as an editor of the Columbia Undergraduate Research Journal. She was also a finalist in Columbia’s annual Entrepreneurship and Design Challenge, for which she co-created a parent-school connection app for families in São Paulo, Brazil. Since graduating from Columbia, Ayda has been working as a Research Associate at the University of California, Berkeley. With her diverse team of international scholars, she has conducted research on child welfare funded by the state of California’s Social Services Department and has published several scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Ayda’s success in academia was something she built on her own from the ground up. Her first foray into the world of academic conferences and publication was with research she had conducted independently, without the backing of a well-connected lab or professor. Remarkably, her efforts met with success—as an undergraduate junior, she gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society. This early self-made success led to her becoming involved with research at UC Berkeley and NYU, as well as for city government and public-interest law firms. Thanks to Ayda’s experience breaking into the world of academia as an ingenue, she has a wealth of know-how she can impart to TA’s Research mentees to help them achieve similar success.


  • Lanfranconi, Lucia M., Yu-Ling Chang, and Ayda Basaran. 2020. ‘“At the intersection of immigration and welfare governance in the United States: State-, county-, frontline-level and client’s perspective.” Zeitschrift für Sozialreform Journal of Social Policy Research. Vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 441–469. doi: 10.1515/zsr-2020-0019
  • Basaran, Ayda. 2017. ‘“Philosophy Needs To Find A Place For Imagination Also In The Analysis Of Action”: Faculty Interview with Professor Katja Vogt’. Columbia Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2(2). doi: 10.52214/curj.v2i2.4120Presentations
  • Basasran, Ayda, Yu-Ling Chang, and Lucia M. Lanfranconi. “Immigration and welfare governance in the United States.” Conference presentation at the annual meeting of the Swiss Sociological Association, Geneva, Switzerland, June 2021.
  • Basaran, Ayda. “Equity within California’s Devolved Welfare-to-Work Program: Analysis from the State-, County-, Frontline-, and Client’s level.” Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, Virtual, January 2021.
  • Basaran, Ayda. “The Limited Success of Women in Legal Professions: Tokens or Lawyers?” Poster session at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, Baltimore, United States, February 2018.