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#VU2019 Student Profiles
Happy Helping Others: Robby Perry, BE’19

Happy Helping Others: Robby Perry, BE’19

From an Alternative Spring Break trip to renovate houses with Habitat for Humanity, to a Home Depot–sponsored web-coding hackathon, to a semester of study abroad that took him to cities such as Madrid, Marrakesh and Istanbul—Robby Perry’s time at Vanderbilt exemplifies just how much you can pack into four years.

Special-needs Siblings Inspire a Career in Care: Alexandra Vierling, BS’19

Special-needs Siblings Inspire a Career in Care: Alexandra Vierling, BS’19

It was at Vanderbilt that Alexandra Vierling found her passion for nursing. But the idea of working at the intersection of health care and education was a seed planted long ago.

Beyond the Petri Dish: Gabriela Alvarado, PhD’19

Beyond the Petri Dish: Gabriela Alvarado, PhD’19

Gabriela Alvarado began her graduate program intent on studying something microscopic, but she ended up developing a passion for understanding the bigger picture of her research.

Wellness Influencer and Entrepreneur: Sloane Chmara, BA’19

Wellness Influencer and Entrepreneur: Sloane Chmara, BA’19

What does it take to run a growing health brand with a positively focused social media presence while excelling at academics and maintaining a social life? For Los Angeles native Sloane Chmara, it’s all about wellness.

Flying on to Medical School: Riley Ferguson, BA’19

Flying on to Medical School: Riley Ferguson, BA’19

A Facebook query seeking Vanderbilt students who were pilots led Riley Ferguson to two of her closest friends and the founding of AviaDORES, a campus organization with the mission of making aviation accessible to VU students.

Refugees and a ‘Third-Culture Kid’: Aya Abou-Jaoude, BS’19

Refugees and a ‘Third-Culture Kid’: Aya Abou-Jaoude, BS’19

Aya Abou-Jaoude has always planned to become a physician. But she says an eye-opening Vanderbilt course last year about refugee resettlement helped affirm her ultimate goal: to pursue pediatric medicine, with a particular focus on refugee health.

Great App for Great Apes: Ben Scheer, BS’19

Great App for Great Apes: Ben Scheer, BS’19

Ben Scheer jumps imagination-first into big projects, and he’s not afraid of a lot of trial and error. The human and organizational development and economics double major has worked on dozens of entrepreneurial endeavors that focus on solving problems through technology.

Using Science to Spark Innovation: Jasper Lu, BS’19, MS’19

Using Science to Spark Innovation: Jasper Lu, BS’19, MS’19

Creative writing and computer science classes in middle school and high school inspired Jasper Lu to pursue a liberal arts education at Vanderbilt, where he could explore all his passions and identify connections between them.

Combat Veteran and Future Trauma Surgeon: Kathleen Gallagher, MD’19

Combat Veteran and Future Trauma Surgeon: Kathleen Gallagher, MD’19

Like many medical students, Kathleen Gallagher knew by the time she’d finished high school biology that she wanted to become a doctor. It was the tragedy of Sept. 11, however, that launched her journey into trauma surgery.

A Scientific Mind and a Heart for Women’s Issues: Ananya Sharma, BA’19

A Scientific Mind and a Heart for Women’s Issues: Ananya Sharma, BA’19

As the only child of a university biology professor, Ananya Sharma’s talent in science came naturally. Yet, while navigating a STEM-specialized curriculum in high school, she discovered an interest in women’s studies.

Building Community and Confidence: Jarryd Bethea, BS’19

Building Community and Confidence: Jarryd Bethea, BS’19

During his college search, Jarryd Bethea sought an institution that would combine great academics, strong school spirit, and a community where he could make an impact. He found that and more at Vanderbilt.

Runner’s High: Evan Suzman, BS’19

Runner’s High: Evan Suzman, BS’19

Evan Suzman, a cross country runner for the Commodores, likes to clear his mind with long, winding runs across campus. Off the course, the native New Yorker is a double major in history and child development, with a focus on the history of science.

Musical Talent and Mentor: Rama Kumaran, BMus’19

Musical Talent and Mentor: Rama Kumaran, BMus’19

Rama Kumaran initially intended to study both science and flute when he came to Vanderbilt. He says he didn’t come expecting to know everything. “But I expected to do everything," he says.

From South Africa with Love: Bill-Kande Badi, BA’19

From South Africa with Love: Bill-Kande Badi, BA’19

Bill-Kande Badi never imagined he’d pursue a career in film when he traveled more than 8,500 miles from his hometown of Pretoria, South Africa, to study at Vanderbilt. But then he signed up for Cinema and Media Arts courses and “fell in love with making movies.”

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