• Graduation Year: 2024

Anshruta Chidananda square

Major: Biological Sciences

Minor: Cognitive Science, Nutrition

How did you decide on your major?

I knew that I was fascinated by all things science from a young age, but as I progressed towards college, I realized that I still could not narrow down that interest, as I appreciated the multidisciplinarity within biology and its ability to let me explore all of these science interests that I had. As I continued my pursuit in my undergraduate studies, the well-rounded and robust foundation that Biological Sciences provided me for an overall science background and my premedical studies helped me to solidify this decision.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I am drawn to the overall interdisciplinarity of medicine: the way in which the various organ systems of the body interact with each other, how external influences (such as nutrition) can play a role in health or illness, and how various knowledge backgrounds can come together to address different questions in medicine and further advance the field. Such a field suggests complexity that I find thrilling, and my desire to pursue this complexity to a significant depth leads me to become a physician.           

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

I cannot choose one course, but I have especially enjoyed Advanced Nutrition Macronutrients with Dr. Malcolm Watford (as well as Advanced Nutrition Micronutrients!) and Genetics with Dr. Doreen Glodowski. Advanced Nutrition helped me find a niche interest within biology, as well as an avenue that feels deeper intertwined with medicine. I also enjoyed Dr. Watford’s humor and personality that showed through in each lecture.  Dr. Glodowski promoted active learning throughout each recitation and solidified my genetics foundation. Her kind and calm personality made it easy to approach her with questions, which she answered very clearly.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I’ve enjoyed being able to pursue my Nutrition and Cognitive Science minors, in which I have been able to explore subjects beyond my biological sciences and pre-medical focus. These classes helped me develop an appreciation for the interdisciplinarity of the fields of knowledge I am studying and medicine as a whole.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

At Rutgers, I have conducted research at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (where I am currently pursuing my thesis for Honors in Biological Sciences!). I am one of the co-presidents of American Medical Student Association (AMSA), a clinical volunteer with American Preventive Screening and Education Association (APSEA), School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program Peer Mentor, a member of the College Avenue Players (CAP) and the Chess Club. Outside of Rutgers, I enjoy watching and playing tennis, as well as watching professional football, TV shows, and movies.

What are your plans following graduation?

I plan to work in a clinical job during my gap year in order gain more meaningful clinical experience.

 Anything else you would like to share?

Remember to take the time for self-care and find a balance between work and play because it is crucial to your success that you give yourself well-deserved breaks to prevent burnout. Also, make sure to explore college while you are here because it truly does fly by! Whether it is attending a basketball game at Jersey Mike’s Arena, doing a food tour of the restaurants on Easton Avenue and George Street, or joining one of the various student organizations, enjoy your time at Rutgers and make use of the opportunities around you.

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