Visiting International Scholar in Residence

The Ithaca College Honors Program, with support from the Provost, works with Ithaca City of Asylum (ICOA) to support an International Visiting Scholar in Residence. Founded in 2001, Ithaca City of Asylum supports the human rights and freedom of expression for writers exiled from their home countries by sponsoring writers-in-residence. The Honors Program is proud to support these scholars.


Sonali Samarasinghe (2012-2014) Sonali is a human rights activist and award-winning journalist. While practicing law in Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe worked as an editor and journalist focusing on government corruption and human rights. She left Sri Lanka with other members of her family in 2009 when her husband, Lasantha Wickrematunge, a high-profile attorney, publisher, and activist for freedom of the press, was assassinated and her household was threatened. Since coming to the United States, she has established The Lanka Standard , a website devoted to truthful coverage of events in Sri Lanka and to freedom of the media in that country.

Educated in journalism at colleges in Sri Lanka and Australia, Samarasinghe also holds law degreed from the Sri Lanka Law College of Law and the University of London, as well a master’s degree in international affairs from the Australian National University. ​ She has been a Neiman Fellow at Harvard University and an international journalist in residence at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. Among the numerous awards for her work are the Images and Voices of Hope for Print and Digital Media (2011), the International PEN/NOVIB Freedom of Expression Award (2009), the Human Rights Prize of the International Federation of Journalists, the Global Shining Light Award at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference (2008), and Zonta International’s Woman of Achievement (2006).