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Meet Nikita Roy: Fulbrighter and Global Health Advocate

 

Year: Senior

Major: Biological Sciences and FastTrack Masters in Public Health

Hometown: Newton, MA

 

First and foremost, happy (almost) graduation! Tell us a little bit about your time at UConn- what were you involved in?

Thank you! I have been lucky to be involved in a lot during my time at UConn. Since my freshman year, I have been working as a Research Assistant in a Behavioral Neuroscience Lab at UConn. This experience has been so integral in my decision to pursue research post-grad. I have also been heavily involved in service, having traveled to Panama twice with the UConn Chapter of Global Brigades. This year, I served as the Vice President for the organization! I am leading a brigade to Honduras this May that is focused on human rights and legal empowerment! Last year, I traveled to Philadelphia on an Alternative Spring Break with UConn Community Outreach! 10/10 highly recommend!

I have also belonged to a sorority, Alpha Chi Omega for the entirety of my undergraduate career. I met my best friends through this organization, and was lucky to serve as the Vice President of Intellectual Development for one year. I even got to run for homecoming queen last fall which was quite the experience! I have also studied abroad in Spain for a summer through Education Abroad. I’ve also been a part of a competitive Indian-fusion dance team, UConn Surya! We placed second two times this year at competitions in Pittsburgh and Boston!

 

Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in medicine?

Absolutely not! I used to cry every time I went to the doctor’s office. I didn’t know that this career was for me until I got to college and began to experience patient care directly, through my service trips. I also read about disparities in healthcare in some of my classes, and fell in love with public health!

What made you decide to apply to the Fulbright program?           

I began looking into the program last summer, after hearing about it from friends. I honestly did not know much about it or what to expect, but as soon as I connected with the director of the lab that I will be researching under in Sydney, I was hooked! She is such a successful researcher that leads a team of women in their work, and I was very excited at the chance of meeting and getting to work with her! I also want the chance to travel and experience a new part of the world, and step outside of my comfort zone as much as possible before I commit to more school and start my career!

 

What are you looking forward to the most about being a Fulbrighter?

I feel like this is going to be a chance for me to do something that I have never done before, and in the process, discover a side of myself that I have never met before. So much can be learned when you are alone in a new place, and I want to meet as many people as I can, and learn about Australian culture as well! I also am excited to bring the perspective of a first-generation American-born citizen abroad. I think that there are so many perceptions about the typical American in other parts of the world, and I am excited to share my perspective as an American raised by immigrant parents to others, in hopes of promoting tolerance and understanding, and spreading the message that the United States is a land that is open to all people from all walks of life – it is what we are made of! It all just seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful!

 

Australia is a long way from Storrs. What will you miss most about UConn?

 This is a tough one… the ice cream! Banana chocolate chip all the way!

 

 

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