Congratulations to the 2017 College of Humanities Student Speaker and Outstanding Senior!
Nandini Deo, Student Speaker
Nandini is graduating with Bachelors of Science degrees in International Studies and Health, Society and Policy with minors in Anthropology and Sociology. Having embarked upon her educational path as a Merrill Engineering Research Scholar, Nandini’s increasing interest in global health and preventative education drew her to interdisciplinary studies in the College of Humanities. “The more I learned about the intersections between culture, history, tradition, environment, and health, the more I recognized the importance of preventative interventions in altering health outcomes for the better,” she explains.
Nandini’s educational journey has engaged her in four years of undergraduate research, three Alternative Breaks, and countless leadership roles. Her diverse research portfolio includes a research assistantship at the Department of Metallurgical Engineering’s Center for Renewable Energy, an internship for the VA Hospital's Division of Epidemiology, and two years as an Undergraduate Research Leader for the Office of Undergraduate Research, where she most recently planned a “Women in Research” panel for the Undergraduate Research Education Series.
“I have loved being able to connect classroom learning to real-life experiences,” she says. “One of my favorite things is learning to live creatively, and adapting to uncomfortable situations in an attempt to grow or learn.”
Nandini’s adaptability is evidenced in the three Alternative Break trips she completed through the University’s Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, including one as Site Leader for the 2016 Community Health focused trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. Most recently, she traveled to Kumasi, Ghana to research chronic pain in rural populations. “I love studying health because of its vast applicability as well as its personal relevance in each person’s life,” she says. “I ultimately enjoy learning about the complexity and vulnerability that comes with being human.”
A complex student herself, Nandini’s academic advisor Ashley Glenn says of her, “Nandini is the perfect example of a student of the Humanities. She has mastered the art of learning how to think, not what to think, and has allowed her interest in health to cross disciplines and even national boundaries.”
After graduation Nandini plans to participate in a fellowship with the Global Health Corps or the Center for Disease Control before returning to pursue a master’s of public health focusing on the epidemiology of maternal and child health. Her long-term goal is to complete a Ph.D. in epidemiology, researching social determinants of women's health.