NIKAIO "NIKO" THOMASHOW '19
GADJAH MADA UNIVERSITY '19-21'
Nikaio (Niko) Thomashow graduated from Oberlin in December 2018 with a degree in Dance with a focus in Performance of Identity. Throughout their time there, Nikaio was involved in and a leader for many student groups, including the Filipinx American Student Association, Koreo, and Kinetik. In their second year, they founded Queer and Formal Reasoning (QFR), Oberlin’s first organization for LGBTQ+ students in the sciences. They helped to make QFR an official chapter of Out In STEM (oSTEM) and fundraised for seven students to attend the oSTEM conference in 2017. There, Nikaio presented on their experience as a minority in the sciences and was recruited by NASA JPL for an Astrophysics research internship the following summer. Nikaio has also participated in research at Oberlin under the instruction of Prof. Robert Owen and at the Maria Mitchell Observatory under a grant from the National Science Foundation. In their penultimate semester at Oberlin, they completed their senior project for dance, Inahan Sa Perlas. Inahan Sa Perlas was a multimedia concert that served as an open letter to their mother, while prompting discussions surrounding deracination and intersectional identities. The proceeds were donated to the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. As a Shansi Fellow, Nikaio will be teaching at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. There, they plan to spend time learning about traditional Javanese dance and martial arts, with a specific focus on studying how they are preserved. Nikaio would like to thank the Shansi team for their guidance and generosity and wishes the other fellows the best with their journeys!