The day in April 2013 that Maya Prabhu received the Morrill Scholarship will forever be etched in her memory. “It was a day of tears, hugs, and – most importantly – empowerment. Since that day, my experiences with the Morrill Scholars Program and the Distinction Scholarship have given me many tools and resources that I know will help me succeed in all areas of my life.”
The Morrill Scholarship is presented to students who have made a positive impact for diversity both inside and outside the classroom. Through the Morrill Scholarship and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholars Program, Maya has found both financial and emotional support. She has also found a group of students that she shares a bond with, one, she says, that is unspoken yet unbreakable. “Whether we have been close friends since freshman year or complete strangers who cross paths on the Oval, Morrill Scholars have this wonderful tendency to help you feel included, welcomed, and loved. From helping me establish the MSP Newsletter and Blog to calming me down as I study for my MCAT, my Morrill Scholars family has cheered me on during my triumphs and has raised me up after my defeats.”
Once she started her classes at The Ohio State University, Maya felt a connection not only with her fellow Morrill Scholars but with the university as a whole: “To be a Buckeye means to be woven into the vibrant tapestry of The Ohio State University, an institution grounded by years of tradition, innovation, and creativity. This tapestry is filled with the stories and experiences of a myriad of individuals who are unique and passionate, brave and confident, multicultural and multifaceted. Being a Buckeye unites us in our similarities, yet allows us to grow from our differences.”
That diversity in thought and people is, Maya says, “complex and ever-changing.” Beyond a singular phrase or dictionary definition, Maya sees diversity as a unique and personal combination of her ideas, feelings, and unique experiences, which taken together, becomes a lens to better understand the world and the people around her. “My perspective of diversity may be something entirely different from that of my roommate, our university president, Dr. Drake, or our ODI Vice Provost, Professor Davies—and that’s completely beautiful! Diversity is fundamentally collaborative.” Maya understand and appreciates that learning about others – their cultures, beliefs, and stories – adds complexity to and enriches our own life stories. “Ohio State is a place where these many stories intertwine, allowing us to learn from each other, and become stronger together.”
After graduating in 2017 with a degree in neuroscience, Maya plans to continue her education in medical school and pursue a career in primary care. In addition, Maya would love to get a Master’s in Public Health, focusing on either health promotion/health behaviors, or Epidemiology. She hopes to travel to other parts of the world and work with mobile clinics to better the healthcare obtained by women and children.
The experiences that Maya is receiving as an undergraduate student at Ohio State are helping her on her journey. Maya serves as a Traumatic Brain Injury Research Assistant in the Wexner Medical Center Department of Neuroscience. Through this position, she has received approximately $3,000 in funding and has co-authored a manuscript: “Binge ethanol in adulthood exacerbates negative outcomes following juvenile traumatic brain injury”. Maya also serves as the Vice President for the Honors & Scholars Programming Board, Coordinator of the EEI Medical Internship, ambassador for the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, and as a Presidential Host, among other accomplishments.
Maya truly believes that being part of the Morrill Scholars Program – and being a Buckeye – means to join an empowering, confident, and passionate family of individuals, dedicated to making their world a better and more inclusive place – one day at a time.
Maya is well on her way to making a difference in her world and those around her.