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Shruti Acharya ′08

I took flute lessons at Rhodes all through high school, and I really loved the campus and my flute teacher. I would come here in the evening for my lessons and see students sitting out on the lawn studying. All the ones I talked to seemed to love Rhodes. Now, as a junior, I play in the wind ensemble and still take lessons here.

As a high-schooler, I sat in on a Rhodes biology class, and I liked how small it was; it wasn’t as scary as people made college out to be. The professor didn’t just sit up there lecturing with all the students lost and confused. Students could raise their hands and ask questions. I visited a couple of larger schools with big lecture halls, and it was a totally different environment; I liked Rhodes so much better.

I feel like I learn as much outside the classroom as inside it, especially through volunteering. I’ve been in the Adopt-a-Friend program at Snowden Elementary School for three semesters. Some of the kids have insecurities or are unhappy, and they get comfortable enough around you to start confiding.

Eventually, I hope to be a pediatrician or maybe a family practitioner. I want to form relationships with my patients, and I don’t think I’d be able to do that as a surgeon. As a pediatrician you see the same children again and again. I volunteer at the MED (Regional Medical Center at Memphis), and I also helped found Women in Chemistry (WIC) and Colleges against Cancer (CAC) chapters at Rhodes. Two of my relatives died of cancer, so the cause is close to my heart.

RICE (Rhodes Indian Cultural Exchange) has also been a very rewarding experience for me. I love being able to celebrate the festivals I’ve grown up with. My grandparents live in India, and we visit them every year. Now that I’m president of RICE, it’s a great leadership opportunity, and I hope it makes them proud.

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