Durga Sritharan's Experience at Iowa State

29 Apr 2021 1:22 PM

By: Nsafi

When Durga Sritharan looks back at her high school experience, she can say that she enjoyed it. In her high school years, she was able to connect with students and staff on a personal level. The relationships she established and maintained during that time helped her become a more sociable and outgoing person.

Sritharan is a sophomore in the biology (pre-health/human medicine) major and when deciding what college to attend, she chose Iowa State due to the variety of classes that were offered in the biology department. She knew that she would be able to take advanced courses targeted towards her professional aspirations.

She also wanted to get involved in the Multicultural Student Affairs department as well as the Conference on Race and Ethnicity. She said that this would allow her to grow as a person of color at a predominantly white institution.

But Sritharan says that the one thing about her college experience that is similar to her high school one is the fact that a good percentage of her high school graduating class attends Iowa State. The biggest difference would be that it is more challenging to connect with professors due to the number of students in the courses.

Sritharan is a George Washington Carver Scholar and she said that the program has provided her with multiple networking and academic opportunities. She has been able to connect to Jasmine Tappin, George Washington Carver Coordinator, and as well as other scholars in the cohort.

She has also been able to present at the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity as part of her first-year requirement. But it was through this experience that she was inspired to present at another conference with Tappin. This led to her receiving an invitation to present at the 19th Annual First Amendment Days through the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

Sritharan said that there have been individuals who have helped her along her journey so far and these include: Jasmine Tappin (GWC Coordinator), Sarah Wehner (Academic Advisor, Biology), and Dr. Elizabeth Stegemoller (Associate Professor, Kinesiology).

The biggest takeaway from her college experience so far is to be open to change.