Her mother is a clinical research manager at Mount Sinai Medical Center, while her father conducts pharmaceutical research, so perhaps it's not surprising that Ramya Bharathi SAS'15 is a biology major with plans to attend medical school.
Bharathi hopes to become a cardiovascular surgeon, and she ticks off Johns Hopkins, Brown University or Harvard as the schools she'd most like to attend, although a return to her native Canada is also a possibility.
With that goal in mind, the sophomore spent about 20 hours a week this summer working in the cardiac research group at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, led by Dr. Emad F. Aziz.
Bharathi and about a dozen other volunteers -- most of whom were doctors -- compiled data and spoke to patients up to two years removed from their hospital visit. The information they collect will help treat patients more efficiently, sending them where they need to go according to their symptoms.
"I've always been fascinated by research," Bharathi says. "I've learned a lot of information about heart diseases, the different symptoms of different medical conditions." She's also excited about seeing her name published in the paper resulting from the study.
But while she will continue to volunteer once a week at St. Luke's during the school year, and again next summer, Bharathi says she prefers to pursue a career that requires more interaction with patients.
Being in the hospital setting was a thrill. "You know how you see those shows on TV and the movies? It's just like that," she said. Doctors and staff would be bantering with each other, then swiftly turn serious when patients arrive.
"The doctors talk so well with their patients," she said. "It's all about patient interaction. It's very nice to be in that setting because I want to be like that, too."
The fun environment was a bit of a surprise, as well. "I thought it would be very strict and that we couldn't do anything," but that wasn't the case, she said.
Bharathi, who is carrying 21 credits this semester, says managing her time is important. She's also the sophomore class president, a member of the Science and Math Society and tutors fellow students in biology and math.
Earlier this year, she was one of 10 local students recognized by the Westchester section of the American Chemical Society for outstanding performance in her first year chemistry coursework.
Bharathi was a student orientation staffer, so "I check up on my freshmen every now and then," she says. She's also an honor student, and is working on a research project to catalog the wildlife on main campus and find out what conditions make them thrive here.
Bharathi has no questions about why students thrive at The College of New Rochelle. She says she chose CNR for its welcoming atmosphere. "I love the faculty; all my teachers are amazing." She says the school is "very student-centered. You're not just one of the students, you really matter in this school."