Krithika Rao ‘19

with Layne Wells ‘19, Staff Writer

Hometown: Cupertino, CA

Major/Minors: Biochemistry (Pre-Med) and

Asian American Studies

TSV: What are you involved with on campus?

KR: On campus, I am a Scholar in Action Coordinator at Laspa Center for Leadership at Scripps and Lab TA for IBC. I am an NSP Team Leader, Secretary of Ekta (5C South Asian Student Association), Claremont Tamasha (Bollywood Dance Company) Board Member, Claremont Colleges Fighting Cancer Publicity Officer, 5C DESI (South Asian Vocal Group) Co-founder and Vocalist, and Pomona Concert Choir singer.

TSV: What has been your favorite class since coming to Claremont?

KR: Health Inequities at PZ. As a pre-med student and an Asian American Studies minor, everything about that class was so relevant. We talked about how sickness and disease are not isolated to individual people, and how social factors like race, class, citizenship status, etc. affect risk factors and access to health care. The best part of the class was the community engagement portion, where we went to Monterey Park every other week to teach immigrants English in preparation for their citizenship exams. That class not only taught me more about the social experience of health, but also truly made me feel like I was making a difference in the community.

 TSV: Tell us about an experience you had at Scripps this year that was particularly meaningful or transformative for you.

KR: Very early in this semester, I broke my ankle while riding a skateboard, which has led to surgery, bed rest and months of using a wheelchair. While dealing with recovery has been a serious adjustment, it allowed me to take a step back and evaluate my life. I realized that I was overwhelmed and stretched far too thin by all of my extracurricular activities before, and bed rest forced me to take time out for myself and prioritize the activities that mattered to me most.Also, it made me realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such a kind, loving and helpful community as Scripps, with friends who wouldjump through hoops for me to help me feel loved and safe. All in all, I feel blessed.

TSV: As  a mentor, what advice can you give to new students to get the most out of their first

year at Scripps?

KR: Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things! Let your interests stay fluid and organic – rather than trying to define your major or interests early on, let yourself be open to finding new passions. Attend discussions, talks and club meetings on topics or areas you haven’t learned much about. Take advantage of all of the amazing free resources available to Scripps students, like all of the invited guest speakers, workshops and trainings. You learn and grow the most when you least expect it.

TSV: Have you done a “Describe Yourself with

Three Fictional Characters” challenge?

KR: Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, Flynn Ryder from Tangled, and Donkey from Shrek.