Radhika Narasimhan: 'I learned to respect my own voice'

Thu, 05/02/2019

Radhika Narasimhan

Biological Sciences & Religious Studies

South Brunswick, NJ

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

My writing abilities have skyrocketed from the moment I stepped into my Freshman Writing Seminar. Being a religious studies major really allowed me to develop persuasive and descriptive capabilities that I don't think a lot of science students get exposure to. I have become so much more confident and fluent when writing in all forms, and above all I learned to respect my own voice. First person is actually acceptable in some of the classes I have taken here, and I learned how to effectively integrate it into my work so as to maintain an academic tone while simultaneously increasing my presence in such writing. I also learned how to write from a scientific perspective, and in an upper level neurobiology course called Drugs and the Brain had the opportunity to draft an NIH research proposal. Such assignments are really what makes Cornell unique to me, as they allow students to embark on exciting challenges intellectually.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I'm most proud of the research I've conducted at the Motor Recovery Research Lab at NYU Langone, both during the summer and through remote data analysis while at school. I've been able to experience first hand the improvements our therapies have had on hemiparetic stroke patients, and doing patient interviews post therapy has been one of the most incredible experiences. We are currently working on a few publications, and really the upper level biology courses I took at Cornell were what provided me with the skills necessary for literature reviews and experimental designs.

How have you changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

Becoming a religious studies major really changed the tone of my educations here. I initially entered with the sole intention of being pre-med and seeing my undergraduate education as a mere stepping stone to my career as a physician. Ever since I took the introductory religious studies course on a whim however, my entire perspective on the undergraduate experience has changed. This is a time where our only responsibility is to be a student (for the most part) and we should be taking advantage of that! Cornell offers some of the most diverse coursework and has incredibly unique departments in Arts & Sciences. I have discovered how important the humanities can be for medicine, and have developed an awareness of soft skills that are so essential for professional life.

Radhika Narasimhan