- Name: Akshayaa Chittibabu
- Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA
- Major: Physiology and Neurobiology, Global Health
- Graduation Year: 2019
- Age: 19
Q: Odia Kane has nominated you as an involved woman on campus that inspires her. Tell us, what are you involved with?
AC: On any given day, you can find me in the Writing Center. I spend a lot of time working with students there as a writing center tutor! I also work with Dr. Johnson as an editorial assistant for the peer-reviewed journal, Social Science & Medicine. I volunteer with Collegiate Health Service Corps and through UConn’s Community Outreach alternative break program. I am also a member of Global Medical Brigades and had the amazing opportunity of serving rural communities in Panama in January of 2016. Finally, I’ve served as the Chief Financial Officer of UConn Poetic Release and I am a slam poet with Performance Crew.
Q: You are involved with a variety or organizations but I’m seeing a healthcare/volunteering theme. Why did you pick the ones you did?
AC: I love working with people and helping them achieve their potential. This is what drives me as a human and as a future physician. I truly believe that the organizations I am involved in help me do this through writing, scientific advancement, service, and creativity.
Q: What is the most enjoyable part of being involved for you?
AC: I initially became involved to make the most of my four years here at UConn, but meeting so many amazing and inspiring people has really been the icing on the cake. I’ve been able to learn so much from my fellow Huskies and grow as a student and person through involving myself on campus.
Q: Being so involved can pose a challenge for anyone. What do you do to maintain the student-work balance? When you do find time for yourself, what do you do to de-stress?
AC: I really love learning languages. I like to take a couple of minutes each day to learn new words or phrases in different languages. It really puts all of my commitments into perspective. My life goal, outside of becoming a pediatric surgeon, is to gain proficiency in a new language every five years of my life. I’d really like to work in global health, serving underserved areas around the world. I’m really excited to learn as many languages as I can in my life. By the end of this year I’ll be 20, and excitingly, I’ll be proficient to fluent in at least four: Telugu, Tamil, English and Spanish! It’s definitely a really fun hobby for me to explore new cultures and meet new people (follow my language learning Instagram: @mypolyglotadventures to read about my experiences). I also de-stress by visiting cute cafés when I can, spending time with my lovely friends, and of course, watching Netflix (I’m a huge Scrubs fan).
Q: You interact with so many people within your communities. Who inspires you?
I am really inspired by my mother, who always gives everything she does 110%. She always has a smile on her face and is always empathetic to others no matter how much she is involved in. She inspires me every day to be the best version of myself.
Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to get more involved on campus?
I have two pieces of advice:
- Don’t be afraid to jump into something outside of your comfort zone!
- Always look at the flyers on the walls! There are so many opportunitites at UConn and usually they’re right infront of you on the walls of your classes, the library, and the Union.
For example, I first got introduced to Poetic Release by seeing a flyer for an open mic during my freshman year and I just went for it. Now, I’m really involved in the spoken word community at UConn and learn from so many amazing poets and souls. I would have never met this community without being fearless to try something new.
Photos courtesy of Akshayaa Chittibabu.