Amazing Students Profiles

Tulsi Patel

Tulsi Patel

Senior Tulsi Patel is a pure scientist. She came to UGA as a freshman because of the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities program that allowed her to do scientific research as an undergraduate student. She has worked with some of UGA’s top scientists including Dr. Scott Gold in the department of plant pathology and Dr. Steve Stice in the department of animal and dairy science. She has presented her work to fellow scientists. In 2008, Patel was named as one of UGA’s two Honorable Mentions in the Goldwater Scholarship Program. She has worked with Relay for Life and the Thomas Lay after school program. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and become a research scientist.


Acworth, Ga.

High School:

North Cobb High School

Degree objective:

B.S. in genetics

Expected graduation:

Spring 2009

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

My experience at UGA has allowed me make practical use of my interest in the natural sciences. Through the CURO Apprentice program, I was able to conduct research as soon as I started my undergraduate career. During the past two years, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Scott Gold in the department of plant pathology, and I am now working with Dr. Steve Stice in the department of animal and dairy sciences. I am also a co-president of the Student Society for Stem Cell Research and the vice-president of public relations for the Association of Women in Sciences. Through my involvement in these organizations I have experienced the political, ethical, and career-oriented facets of the academics that I enjoy. I was also a CURO Summer Fellow during the summer of 2007. I have been involved with Relay for Life for the past two years. Last year, I was a mentor with the Thomas Lay after school program. I am also a member of Young Democrats and Demosthenian Literary Society. I have been a Presidential Scholar for the past two years.

Current Employment:

I am a teaching assistant for the CURO Apprentice program. I work with first and second year CURO Apprentices in order to help them through their first experiences in undergraduate research and undergraduate life at UGA.

Family Ties to UGA:

Two of my cousins attended UGA. Rishi graduated with a B.S in physics and Mira graduated with a B.S in biological engineering.

I chose to attend UGA because…

Initially, I chose UGA because of the Honors Program and the Hope scholarship. I was eager to get a quality education at a very low price. UGA is also one of the only universities that has a serious and successful undergraduate research program.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…wander around North Campus while making random stops to lie on the grass or read. I have recently also taken a liking to visiting Snelling at midnight for cereal and good chats with friends.

When I have free time, I like…

…to read and listen to music.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…ride a scooter in Sambalpur, my hometown in India. This little town has practically no traffic laws to speak of and meandering through the pot-holed streets as rickshaws, cars, motorcycles and bicycles all honk their way around each other is an experience I will not be forgetting soon.

My favorite place to study is…

…the study room in Soule Hall because it is quiet and void of any distractions. Also, it has rocking chairs! On days when all the rocking chairs are taken, I like to retreat to the Science Library where it is always easy to find a solitary corner.

My favorite professor is…

…Pam Kleiber. As the associate director of the Center for Undergraduate Research, Dr. Kleiber has opened many doors for all undergraduates interested in research of any kind. Dr. Kleiber knows all the dos and don’ts of a good undergraduate research career and ensures that we, her students, know them as well. Besides her successful career, what I find most admirable about Dr. Kleiber is her concern for the well-being of her students. She is always there to discuss opportunities with us, to applaud us for our achievements and raise us after our falls. Her dedication to her students is truly admirable.

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

…John Lennon. As a Beatle, John Lennon brought happiness and excitement wherever he went, and as a solo artist, he was idolized as an advocate for peace and love. Songs like “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance” will always remain engraved in our society as symbols of hope. Ironically though, even as Lennon became a source of comfort for others, his own life remained restless and unstable. Writers have claimed that he spent some of his post-Beatles years living a solitary life, giving himself up to drugs while ignoring many responsibilities towards his family. In the end, he was taken from us before anyone figured out who John Lennon really was. Now, he remains a mystery: a hero to some and a deluded cynic to others. While he will probably always be a hero to me, I would like to speak to him and try to understand what he really stood for.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…eliminate political apathy that reigns so adamantly upon our society. We live in the land of the free, yet our government limits many of our freedoms in more ways than we’d like to believe. While most of us dismiss this notion, we don’t think twice before blaming corrupt politicians and red-taped bureaucracies for increased taxes and inaccessible opportunities. The only way to ensure that our government exists only to serve us is to let our voices be heard. We must all become a part of the political process, in any big or small way that we can manage.

After graduation, I plan to…

…get a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in genetics and go on to teach and conduct research as a professor.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…my first presentation at the CURO symposium. Through the CURO symposium, I had the opportunity to share an entire year of my research with my peers and professors. It was very rewarding to see all my work fall into place and know that it was being appreciated. Not only did I enjoy explaining my project to everyone who cared to listen, but I also eagerly listened to other presenters who explained their projects. For the first time, I wasn’t just a student trying to learn from other people’s expertise, I had my own expertise to share! I liked being a part of a community of young scientists.