Former Debater. Current Buckeye. Future Doctor. I’m Prajwal Hegde, an OSU sophomore in Microbiology and a future medical professional. I’ve never been satisfied going to bed without all my questions answered, and that’s taken me places I never would have imagined. I currently assist in undergraduate research on RubisCO optimization at the Riffe Building, where I perform lab research in hopes of changing the way science is conducted.
I also volunteer at the Rardin Free Clinic, where we serve ordinary people with one catch: they’re well below the poverty line. I’m currently the Advocacy Co-Chair on the Asian American Association Executive Board, with the goal of bringing issues that Asian Americans and other minorities face not just to the main campus, but to those groups themselves who don’t realize they are subject to injustices. In addition, I also am one of two AOSCH Chairs for Mirrors Sophomore Class Honorary, attending Honorary meetings and reporting back to Mirrors, while spending additional time volunteering at the James C. Cancer Hospital.
I spend hours connecting knowledge from multiple disciplines together in my spare time, as Chemistry, Biology, Calculus, Statistics, and Physics have all been independent concepts in high school that I know are related. For example, did you know that resistors commonly used in circuitry (Physics) are meant to mimic neuronal synapses in the brain (Biology)? This is the basis for the field of neural networks, and ties those disciplines together in the hope of creating powerful AI that learns like we do and makes decisions as well. If you knew that, then did you know that slime molds (Biology) were used to design the rail system of Tokyo (Physics), or that ants (Biology) have figured out the shortest possible path between multiple different points (Traveling Salesman Problem, Mathematics)? These and countless more examples intrigue me, and delving deeper into such topics makes me happier than an app developer with downloads.
But don’t just assume that’s the only thing I enjoy.
I enjoy watching playoff hockey, baseball, and recently golf. I especially love basketball and tennis, with Lebron James and Roger Federer serving as my two favorite stars. I’ve been to several Cavs games, and I live just a mile away from the ATP Masters Event in Cincinnati, where I’ve been a ballboy for several years, watching Federer win the tournament 6 times. My dream is to watch Wimbledon (the biggest tennis event in sports) live. In addition to sports, I love watching movies, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends. As of right now, nothing beats watching a Hayao Miyazaki movie (with subtitles, of course), listening to the Weeknd AND Yo-Yo Ma (an interesting dichotomy, I know), or rage-quitting (angrily walking away during/after a loss) in a Mario Kart race with my boys. Still, all of this pales in comparison to my love of science and my ultimate interest, medicine.
My desire to join a medical profession stems from the fact that so many members of my family and their friends suffer from various ailments that have hampered their ability to live a healthy life, with many of my dear ones passing away due to inadequacies in the system. This, however, doesn’t compare with the real tragedy: so many people are cut down in their youth due to treatable illnesses or wounds that they cannot get treatment for, and many of these people are brilliant and capable of becoming the “next big thing”. Growing up in privilege, I’m rather humble, as I never started at the same place that so many people do, and I’ve had opportunities that so many don’t.
That’s why I want to level the playing field, so that no kid or adult is deprived of the chance that they deserve. I want to become an Infectious Disease Specialist, and save lives with my expertise. But for now, that’s going to have to wait.
If you want to talk to me about this, or anything for that matter, feel free to reach out! I assure you that I am far more fun-loving than you think. You can find me around campus hanging out with my friends, engrossed in novels, pretending to shoot like Lebron, or playing tennis (or table tennis). Don’t be afraid to talk to me, because you can be sure I won’t be afraid to talk to you 🙂 Go Buckeyes, and I hope to see you around!