Shaping Role Models

Anjali, '19 Biology

Every once in a while, you have an experience that defines you. For Anjali Patel ’19, there have been a series of those moments, but they all center around one common denominator—the community that surrounds her at USI.  

Within that community, there’s one person that stands out from the rest for the med-school-bound senior: Kristina Walker, her supervisor and the director of the Romain College of Business Advising Center where Anjali works as a peer advisor. She first met Kristina as an AMIGO (student orientation leader) when she was a freshman, but as the years have gone by the two have interacted in a variety of ways.  

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Anjali, other amigos and admissions staff participating at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new welcome center

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Anjali and Kristina high fiving

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Anjali and Kristina talking in the Romain College of Business Advising Center

“Kristina is an amazing boss, mentor, advisor, friend—you name it. The way she cares for every student who walks into the office with grace and confidence is so admirable. She’ll drop everything to help a student succeed. No matter her mood that day or how busy her schedule is, she always puts students first. It’s really had an impact on how I want to live my life. One day, I hope to be a physician who treats her patients with a combination of knowledge and compassion, just as Kristina treats her students every day.” 

Kristina has shown me first-hand what it means to be a role model, and I hope to someday inspire someone the way she has inspired me.

Anjali’s path hasn’t always been easy. In her sophomore year she struggled with some of the hardest courses of her academic career. However, through her exposure to extracurriculars and USI faculty, she began to see connections between her coursework and future goals.

“My peers and the faculty helped me get through that time more than I could have ever asked for,” she says. “My Organic Chemistry professor was Dr. Walsh, and I could go to him any time about anything related to class; but more so, I was able to talk to him about how class performance might affect my future. He was able to reassure me. And, he helped me learn how to get help outside of class. He encouraged me to go to Academic Skills or talk to my peers. Despite my obstacles that year, these interactions helped me grow and learn both academically and as a person—they really fueled how I’ve performed in the years after that.”

As Anjali prepares for her final year, including a semester of study abroad in South Africa and Denmark, she says she has seen the person she wants to be in life. “I want to be someone who supports those around her, who helps out wherever she’s needed, who celebrates the small victories.” 

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Anjali giving a tour to people visiting the USI campus as a Student Ambassador

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Anjali and a friend participating in an activity on the USI quad

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Anjali is currently studying for the MCAT

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