(Originally published Oct. 13 2019)
Navdeep Singh, a senior pharmaceutical sciences student, came to UGA to challenge himself and get out of his comfort zone. And from study abroad to the Spike Squad to the lab to SGA treasurer, he’s easily conquered that challenge.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Miller Grove High School
The Student Government Association has been a home for me since getting involved with it during my freshman year. I now get to serve as the treasurer of SGA and a cool part about it is that it serves as a campus job.
I also work for the Discover Abroad program here at UGA in which I serve as an ambassador. This allows me to take all of my love and passion I have for studying abroad and help spread it to other students around campus.
Family ties to UGA:
I have been blessed to be the first UGA student in my family. With being the first one, I will make sure I am not the last!
B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
Coming here I had no idea the way this university was about to change my life. It has been filled with wonderful memories and experiences that have shaped my outlook and perspective on life. Every organization that I have dedicated my time to, thus far, has developed me into this new person that I once thought would never exist. I am forever grateful to the many people here that have played an important part in my achievements and highlights.
The reason I say I never saw this change coming was because of the type of person I was in high school. I was that super reserved and quiet kid that didn’t really talk to people unless I was close with them. Most of this came from me always sticking to what I was comfortable doing and never really branching out to get out of my comfort zone. I was pretty sure that I was going to stay that way the rest of my life but all of that quickly changed after I attended this program that my mom recommended going to called Dawg Camp. Dawg Camp is what started it all for me as I finally started to believe in myself. I took that energy and confidence that I learned at Dawg Camp and decided to finally challenge myself instead of sticking to things I knew I was good at.
When finally arriving at UGA, instead of taking baby steps I decided to take a leap and run for president of Brumby Community Council. This was a memorable experience as I for the first time in my life started to approach people first and introduce myself rather than just waiting on others to go first. It was a great couple of weeks campaigning as I noticed myself grow in so many ways and it all came together at the end when I got that email from the residence hall director, Hannah Mountford, saying I won. Serving as the president with about 15 other amazing students on our council was that first step I needed in college to understand what route of involvement I wanted to follow.
I was fortunate to be selected to be a part of Freshman Forum in SGA, in which I was able to be surrounded by 80 other students that shared the same passion for servant leadership and gave me this family that still till this day I see walking around as seniors now making their impact on this campus in their own ways. This program helped me figure out my passion for mentorship and the importance of learning others’ stories.
My sophomore year I wanted to get a chance to take on mentorship on a more personal level and decided to apply for orientation leader and Dawg Camp. I was fortunate to receive both positions, but little did I know how much they were going to change my life. While serving as a 2018 orientation leader I loved every aspect of the program as it allowed me to welcome thousands of new people into the Bulldog family. I got to spend the summer alongside 14 other phenomenal students who I now refer to as my family. I was able to continue the energy I had from orientation that summer into Dawg Camp since they both were during the summer. That summer is still the best summer I have ever had in my life as I got to meet so many students from different backgrounds, whom each had beautiful stories. I can fully attest to Dawg Camp’s famous quote, “You can’t help but love someone once you know their story,” as that is what I got to experience that whole summer.
My junior year I was able to follow my dream and finally go study abroad in Australia. I learned so much about sustainable development and tourism, which related back to my passion for people understanding their own impact. I was also able to conduct research for the whole year with Dr. Arthur Roberts at the College of Pharmacy in which I was able to study the interactions of drugs with multiple-drug resistance transporters and drug-metabolizing UDP-glucuronosyltransferases. At the end of junior year, I was blessed with the opportunity to run for SGA treasurer on the Empower ticket and ended up winning thanks to the amazing support we received from our staff and students across campus. This left me to where I am now as a senior, thankful for the chance to end it where it all started for me, in SGA.
Additional highlights include being a part of Spike Squad and getting to cheer on the Dawgs every Saturday in front of the greatest fans; joining Delta Epsilon Psi and having a group of individuals to lean on and always have my back; serving as an involvement ambassador and helping students find their home on campus; and continuing my love for study abroad by serving as a Discover Abroad ambassador.
Each opportunity I have been given at this university has surpassed my expectations, offering me the most valuable of gifts of growth. I have truly been blessed to be a part of a great institution filled with amazing unique students who truly care for one another.
I chose to attend UGA because …
… I wanted to challenge myself. I knew I had to try something new after high school if I wanted to grow as an individual so I decided to apply to UGA since only one other person from my high school was going there and it was one of two universities that offered my major, pharmaceutical sciences, in Georgia. I was excited and applied early action only to find out that was I was deferred. However, I didn’t let that stop me, as I kept hope and later on got accepted and now embrace the fact that I was deferred as it lets me know that I am here for a special reason.
My favorite things to do on campus are …
Anyone who knows me will say how much I love Snelling. Well, it is true, as I love going there to hang out with friends, talk with their employees who are some of the nicest people I have ever meet, and get a bowl of fresh grapes every day.
I love going and just walking around Tate, especially in the Center for Leadership and Service. I love walking in and immediately hearing laughs and great conversations from friends that always hang there as well.
When I have free time, I like …
I like to go on adventures with friends no matter what the location is. I love traveling to new places and exploring places that I haven’t seen before. I truly love being outdoors so whatever chance I get to go out and travel with some friends I try to take. Alongside this, I do love to go on runs during my free time. I view running as a way not only to relieve stress but also just think about life. I usually put my headphones in and just run for miles as I think about life and reflect on everything that has happened.
The craziest thing I’ve done is …
For my study abroad trip to Australia, I knew before I went that I wanted to try something new and fun so that I would never forget it from that trip. The whole trip itself was amazing but there was a two-day period that definitely falls as the craziest thing I have done. What I am referring to is going skydiving and landing on a dog beach and then going scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef all in a two-day period. The part that made it the best was that none of this was planned as we as a group just decided to do it randomly during our free time after class one day.
What made it crazier was after skydiving I had problems equilibrating and right before scuba diving the next day the instructor mentioned not to scuba dive if you have had trouble equilibrating in the past. Me being the person I am, I decided to continue, and scuba dive and it was truly one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen.
My favorite place to study is …
In order for me to study there has to be complete silence. I can’t really focus if there is noise in the background or even people trying to study with me. So, with that what works best for me is to have a place in which I am kind of isolated and cut off from everyone else and that is why the little cubicles in the back of the second floor of the Science Library are my favorite. I am always having my late night grind sessions there and love it because when I am done I can always go to Snelling right next to it if I get hungry.
My favorite professor is …
There are so many influential professors at UGA that it is hard to pick just one. Each professor has given me a unique perspective on their discipline and has allowed me to push myself in order to grow. However, If I had to pick one it would be Arthur Roberts from the College of Pharmacy.
Arthur Roberts teaches different pharmacy classes here at UGA, but I got to form a connection with him before entering his class when he accepted me into his lab to do research during my junior year. He gave me the opportunity to explore different approaches that accelerate the development of drugs to treat major diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and AIDS. Our lab used biophysical techniques such as solution NMR, computer modeling and fluorescence spectroscopy to study drugs. I gained a lot of experience with multiple pharmaceutical techniques, but that wasn’t the reason why Audie (his nickname) was one of my favorite professors. Audie is passionate, energetic, motivating, funny and caring. He took his time to truly learn who I was and helped me recognize my passion and constantly was there for me whenever I had questions about my future. I could talk to him about anything from pharmaceuticals to Spike Squad and SGA. He always reminded me to follow my dreams and to not let my own thoughts be a barrier. He continues his passion for students and pharmacy as he teaches my “Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics” class I now take. It is one of the most fun classes I have taken as the class is set up in a game show style where students are split up into teams and compete on what they have learned so far. UGA is fortunate to have unique professors such as Audie who has shown me the importance of chasing my own dreams.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with …
Spending an afternoon with J Cole would be a dream come true. Anyone who knows me will say how I am one of his biggest fans. I have listened to his music ever since his mixtape days when he dropped the classics like “Friday Night Lights” and “The Come Up.” Ever since I started listening to him, I knew there was something special about his lyrics and the way he presented his music. I love how intentional and authentic his music is and how he uses his platform to spread awareness of issues that can be overlooked at times. In my opinion, he has some of the best lyrics as he stays true to himself and doesn’t change for anyone else.
I honestly would just want to talk about life with him as I feel that his perspective is something I would highly value. The conversations would be so real and would give me great insight into how he views the world today. This, of course, would be made better by being able to see him during a studio session and watch him in person create yet another masterpiece. Honestly, if there could be another Dreamville (his record label) session and watch all of them work together like how they did to create their album “Revenge of the Dreamers III” this year, that would be the best way I could ever spend an afternoon.
If I knew I could not fail, I would …
… move to Australia right now and start working on ways to preserve the beautiful marine life that is currently suffering due to different factors like ocean acidification, carbon emissions, plastics and much more. I am big on people understanding their own impact especially when it comes to how one can affect their surroundings without even knowing. 100,000 marine creatures die a year simply just from plastic entanglement and these are just the ones that are found. I would love to be able to figure out a successful plan that wouldn’t fail and help save as many marine ecosystems instantly.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to …
… take a year off from everything and just spend it traveling to soak in and experience all these unique and beautiful types of cultures that are present in the world today and create a documentary to educate and inspire audiences to take some time and truly learn about the people around them. There are so many fascinating cultures today in our world that are overlooked due to the main dominant ones, and I would love to learn and spread knowledge about them to others. One thing that I love is getting to know someone’s story and seeing people embrace who they are and where they come from. I love learning the different ways people live their lives and what personal views they have and why they have them. If money was not a consideration, I would have taken off for this trip a while back!
What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
I am passionate about helping people and making them feel welcomed. I enjoy showing people how powerful their own impact can be and how important it is to embrace who you are no matter what you have experienced. There’s a quote by my favorite artist J Cole that states, “There’s beauty in the struggle and ugliness in the success,” and that is something I want people to understand and realize that you can always turn something into a teachable moment to grow and learn from rather than letting it stop you for achieving your own dreams. This all falls on the message of empowering others and pushing them to be the best versions of themselves. These reasons are what push me to enter the world of pharmaceuticals as I personally believe that there are communities in this field that are overlooked and are in need. I plan to enter this field with one mission and that is to leave it better off than I entered it. I would like to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, and no one is ignored when it comes to topics pertaining to pharmaceuticals.
After graduation, I plan to …
… move to Australia for a couple of years simply because it has always been a dream of mine. I plan on going into either pharmaceutical sales or medical devices after I spend some time in Australia and either enter the field while I am over there or return back to the USA. I know I want a career choice that will revolve around putting people first and having the right mindset when it comes to sustainable development.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
… July 29-31, 2016. This three-day period was and will always be the most memorable and influential event I have experienced while at UGA. It was something I didn’t even plan on going to as my mom recommended it being a good idea for an incoming freshman. This transformative three-day experience that I am referring to was Dawg Camp. Dawg Camp awoke something in me that had been dormant for most of my life. Before Dawg Camp, I was that kid in high school who stayed to himself. The one that was very reserved and didn’t always have much input during class. Now I’m not saying I didn’t talk to anyone, but unless you were a close friend, I usually kept quiet. The old Nav wasn’t a fan of coming to UGA because honestly, I was scared. This perspective of fear, however, came to an end quickly all in a couple of days as I gained hope in not only as a student at this university, but also who I was as a person. This experience paved the way for my personal growth and involvement on campus and led me to other opportunities that have helped me find my home here on campus.