Humans of Duke: Sujal Manohar

Name:  Sujal Manohar

Year:  Class of 2020

Major(s): Neuroscience and Visual Arts 

Hometown: Dallas, TX

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be in medical school (or the start of residency!) to become an empathetic, passionate doctor. As a physician, I want to incorporate the arts into clinical practice to improve illness experiences and patient lives.

 

What’s your weirdest quirk?

Despite being born in a blizzard, I am always cold (especially when I sleep).

 

Why did you decide Duke?

From a young age, I have been encouraged to pursue anything I want, leading to a very disconnected and diverse array of high school activities. I tried almost everything: soccer, Model UN, volunteering at a local court, art competitions, science fairs, app contests, and biomedical research. Not surprisingly, I entered college with almost no idea of what I wanted to study. I knew I needed time to explore and figure out what my passions were, and most other schools required choosing a major before my first year. I chose Duke because of its emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and the ability to explore courses for the first two years before deciding on a major.

 

What has been the best thing about your Duke experience so far? Worst?

My best experience at Duke was taking photos of President Obama when he attended the Duke-UNC game last year. I was photographing the game for The Chronicle and had the opportunity to get close-up shots of Obama. Unfortunately, this was also the game where Zion’s shoe exploded, so I’d say there were ups and downs.

 

What groups are you involved in at Duke?

I am a photographer for The Chronicle, our student newspaper, and served as Photography Editor last year. I especially enjoy sports photography and covered the NCAA Tournament first round last year. I am an undergraduate researcher on a Bass Connections team about women’s health and work in a cognitive neuroscience lab. I also volunteer teaching art to pediatric patients at Duke Hospital through Arts for Life and lead art gallery tours at the Nasher for adults with Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, I am part of the Baldwin Scholars program.

 

What technological advance are you looking forward to in the next 50 years?

I really hope we invent teleportation – it would make it so much easier to connect with people and travel worldwide. I also look forward to a discovery that can prevent or cure fatal genetic diseases.

 

What’s your secret talent?

I am double jointed and really flexible!

 

What’s your strange addiction?

I love hot chocolate—it is my favorite drink and I will have it even on a 100-degree summer day. I cannot stand the taste of coffee or soda.

 

What’s your favorite smell?

I love holiday smells, like peppermint!

 

What are your favorite places to eat at Duke?

I love Divinity Café for breakfast, especially their baked oatmeal! At West Union, I usually get Sazón, Farmstead, or Ginger and Soy.