Amazing Students Profiles

Shalin Jyotishi

Shalin Jyotishi

Political science major Shalin Jyotishi has found UGA to be the perfect place to pursue his goal of a career in higher education policy, research and administration


Johns Creek, Ga.

High School:

Northview High School

Degree objective:

B.A. in political science

Expected graduation:

Spring 2015

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

The University of Georgia has been truly instrumental in my academic and professional development. The interesting thing about my story is that I actually chose not to apply to UGA during high school. I transferred in during the summer of 2013 from Georgia State University, and although GSU has a special place in my heart, the University of Georgia has truly enabled me and provided me opportunities no other universities could have. Thanks to Georgia, I found my calling.

I have ventured through a whirlwind of career paths and majors. I’ve been a biology major, a neuroscience major, I’ve contemplated a chemistry degree, a degree in biological engineering, environmental engineering and even economics. I’ve been pre-pharmacy, pre-med, pre-dental and even pre-law. Ultimately, I chose to major in political science and pursue a career in higher education research and leadership. It’s to UGA and the Institute of Higher Education that I give thanks.

Over the course of my college career, I’ve been heavily involved in leadership and involvement. I have served as a research assistant in the Neuroscience Institute at GSU. During my sophomore year, I was involved with the Pre-Pharmacy Professional Society, the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Professional Society, the Pre-Optometry Professional Society and the Collegiate Neuroscience Society.

During the end of my sophomore year, I studied abroad in China on an IEF scholarship studying pharmaceutical globalization and traditional Chinese medicine. During this same time, I was also a volunteer at both Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta Medical Center in oral and maxillofacial surgery, immunology and pharmacy.

Despite all I was able to accomplish at GSU, I knew I wanted something more. I pushed the boundaries and I found myself looking for other avenues to explore. After careful consideration and meticulous planning, I decided to attend UGA. Once getting to campus, I had the privilege of working with an incredibly driven executive board to serve as founder and president of Operation Smile at UGA. At the time of formation, our chapter was the only public chapter of Op Smile in the state. Operation Smile is an international children’s charity that seeks to raise funds to treat cleft palates and lip palates in children from Vietnam to Venezuela. It costs $240 to save a life, and our chapter has raised nearly $800. Op Smile is an organization of which I am most proud. I simultaneously worked with friends at GSU and Georgia Tech and served as senior adviser to Operation Smile chapters at those universities. We even collaborated for a short while. We worked with other organizations on campus such as FIMRC, Alpha Phi Omega, Teach for America and many more.

In addition to Operation Smile, I have also served as a freelance writer for the Georgia Political Review, a publication unique to UGA. I am also serving as co-chair of the Organizing Committee for UGA’s chapter of Nu Rho Psi.

Lastly, I began working as a research assistant for Sheila Slaughter, who is a professor of higher education in the Institute of Higher Education. It’s through my experience with faculty, students and staff at the IHE that I decided a career in higher education is right for me. Had I not come to UGA, I would have never in a million years had the opportunities I have had. Ranked sixth in the nation, the IHE will truly become a point of pride for me when I become an alum of UGA.

Current Employment:

I’m a research assistant for Sheila Slaughter in the Institute of Higher Education.

Family Ties to UGA:

I’m the first in my immediate family to attend the University of Georgia.

I chose to attend UGA because…

… there isn’t any other university quite like Georgia. UGA made history when it became the first state chartered university in 1785. I chose to attend UGA for the strong faculty, the beautiful campus, the strong programs and our administration’s culture of improving on the status quo.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… walking through the scenic and serene North Campus quad.

When I have free time, I like…

On the occasion I have free time, I like to do simple things that help keep me grounded like spending time with friends, exercising, watching a movie, eating or going for a walk. I think it’s important not to burn out and to have a balance.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

… travel! I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over. Be it by studying abroad or vacationing with friends and family, visiting another country is possibly the most beneficial thing any young person can do. I will never forget studying abroad in China last summer through the Confucius Institute. Reading an award-winning book or movie, taking a course with an esteemed faculty member or participating in an innovative new way to learn could never replace the experience of actually venturing out into the world and visiting a new place.

My favorite place to study is…

… the cafe at Barnes & Noble on Atlanta Highway. When it comes to “work hard, play hard,” I try not to play hard in the place I work. Barnes & Noble is the perfect place to study for me.

My favorite professor is…

It’s tough picking one favorite professor. I would say Joseph Hermanowicz in the department of sociology. I’m taking two classes with Dr. Hermanowicz right now, and never before have I had such an engaging professor. Dr. Hermanowicz has won teaching awards, and it shows. He’s able to engage students in a way few professors can. He incorporates his own research into lectures, which I feel is a very innovative approach to teaching at a research university that you couldn’t find at a majority of other schools. He’s a great mentor and very approachable. Last semester, he took time to give me career advice on more than one occasion when I wasn’t taking his classes or a sociology major.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

… Mary Sue Coleman, the soon-to-be president emerita of the University of Michigan. President Coleman is such an extraordinary leader. The University of Michigan is widely considered to be one of the most well regarded research universities in the world, and it’s also a public university. Michigan has also been recognized as a “great college to work for” as reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education. I feel that there’s a great deal I could learn from President Coleman about higher education, academic leaders and maybe even a little biochemistry on the side.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… start a consortium of business, political and social leaders to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

I would actually like to dedicate a career to conducting research on anything and everything. I’m interested in everything from neuroscience and medicinal chemistry to political science and higher education. If money wasn’t a consideration, I would just learn as much as I can about how the world works.

After graduation, I plan to…

… apply to master’s and doctoral programs in higher education to pursue a career in higher education policy, research and administration.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… the first time I drove to Athens. The air felt clearer, the water tasted sweeter and the grass was certainly greener in the Classic City.