ODI Tutor Honored with Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award
On April 27, 2018, in appreciation of her diversity work at Ohio State, Radhika Pandit was honored with The Ohio State University’s Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award.
The award annually recognizes the extraordinary diversity efforts of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who enhance diversity with cutting-edge curriculum, mentorship, programs or policies. Recipients are awarded for demonstrating the university’s values and making diversity and inclusiveness part of the university’s best practices.
Radhika is majoring in microbiology and minoring in global public health. Since 2015, she has been a Chemistry tutor within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). As a tutor, Radhika conducts one-on-one, hour-long tutoring sessions with students in general chemistry. The students within ODI are a diverse population with racial/ethnic and socioeconomic minorities, students with disabilities, and non-tradition students, and Radhika has consistently received high ratings for her overall effectiveness.
In addition to her tutoring, Radhika serves as a Restful Nights volunteer at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute; participated in a Buck-I-SERV trip to Atlanta, Georgia to address poverty and homelessness among inner-city youth; and is a cardiac arrest intern at the Wexner Medical Center and co-president of the Global Health Initiative at Ohio State, dedicated to increasing awareness and providing educational opportunities in global health issues.
Currently, Radhika is doing undergraduate research with Dr. Alison Norris and the Somali Women’s Health Project, which aims to understand the barriers to preventative health care among Somali immigrants. “Despite the rapidly growing presence of the Somali community in Columbus, very little research has been carried out to understand any barriers this population may experience in accessing health care. The SWHP aims to fill this gap in research and assess any barriers that may exist, as barriers could lead to disparities in health outcomes,” she said. “My role has been to transcribe and analyze qualitative data in the form of in-depth interviews with health care providers in Columbus who regularly care for Somali immigrants.” From these findings, the researchers will work with their Somali community partners to create interventions that could reduce these barriers.
After graduation, Radhika plans on becoming a physician, a career she has been interested in from a very young age. “I always liked science classes and my anatomy and physiology class in high school, so I decided to pursue a pre-medical track upon applying for college. Every experience and relationship I’ve built in college has continuously reinforced this decision, and I am very excited to apply to medical schools this summer!”
Following her graduation in May 2018, Radhika will be starting her gap year before medical school to expand her understanding of the social determinants of health while continuing to make a difference in diversity and inclusion. Radhika will continue with the Somali Women’s Health Project as well as work as a Summer Fellow with The Columbus Foundation, and she has been placed with LifeCare Alliance, which will expand her experience with a larger diversity of people including older adults and adults with disabilities. “I also plan to travel abroad with Dr. Norris to Malawi gain a better global perspective to health care. Following medical school, I hope to treat racial/ethnically and socioeconomically underserved populations, particularly in women’s health.”