Akshayaa Chittibabu

University of Connecticut

Akshayaa Chittibabu is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying biology, global health, and Spanish. A published poet, an artist, and a speaker of five languages, Akshayaa is an aspiring physician with an abiding interest in addressing the enduring disparities in access to health care that exist both here and abroad -- a path inspired by her community-based research and volunteer work in Tamil Nadu, India, where she witnessed first-hand the lack of access to health care facing many rural South Indians. Through the UConn Office of Community Outreach and UConn Global Medical Brigades, Akshayaa has volunteered in healthcare settings ranging from Philadelphia to Ecuador and Panama. Akshayaa currently volunteers with the UConn Collegiate Health Service Corps, where she works with underserved populations in surrounding communities to create and deliver health education lessons in both English and Spanish. On campus, Akshayaa is a tutor at the University Writing Center, an editorial assistant for the Social Science & Medicine peer-reviewed journal, and a research intern at the UConn School of Medicine's Department of Community Medicine. She is also an active slam poet and CFO of UC Poetic Release and Performance Crew, the UConn spoken word collective and slam poetry team.

Susan Herbst
University of Connecticut

Personal Statement

I have always wanted to be a physician, and this passion has led me to develop an awareness of the various healthcare problems faced by people all over the world. Doing medical service in rural Panama, India and Ecuador, as well as domestically, has exposed me to many of the problems caused by lack of healthcare access and made me want to work towards solving them. One of these problems is the lack of access to cervical screening in rural India, which has led to thousands of rural Indian women dying annually. In fact, India shoulders close to one third of the world's cervical cancer burden, even though it is such a preventable disease. Over the past year, I developed a research project focused on assessing the constraints and knowledge of south Indian villagers regarding cervical cancer screening. During the summer of 2016, I designed and implemented a community health education program to educate village men and women from 26 different villages, with the goal of improving cervical cancer awareness and screening usage in these villages. I plan to continue my research and service work by implementing further measures in even more rural areas in India.

Akshayaa Chittibabu
Physiology and Neurobiology: Class of 2019
written 2017

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Erica Cherian, UNC Charlotte Morgan Sweere, University of Central Arkansas Andrew Aboujaoude, University of Central Florida Jaylon Thomas, University of Central Oklahoma Akshayaa Chittibabu, University of Connecticut Marie Spence, University of Denver Nicolette Duong, University of Florida Bobbie Alcanzo, University of Great Falls Eisha Khan, University of Houston-Downtown Alexis Smyser, University of Illinois at Chicago Rudy Amaya, University of La Verne Duane Belanger, University of Maine at Fort Kent Karla Casique, University of Maryland Axel Bayingana, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Sophia Lopresti, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Andrew King, University of Massachusetts Boston Callie Nunez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Luiza Kinzerska-Martinez, University of Miami Nadine Jawad, University of Michigan Zachary Hayes, University of Michigan - Flint Gemechu Mekonnen, University of Minnesota Madison Bick, University of Missouri - St. Louis Isabel Langlois, University of Montana Shayla McGregor, University of Montana Western Sophie Ramsey, University of Mount Union Jimmy Nguyen, University of Nebraska at Omaha Shannon Bodeau, University of North Carolina Asheville Cristian Ramos, University of North Georgia Karina Judith Ortega, University of North Texas at Dallas Melanie Majeed, University of Northern Iowa Sarah Tomas Morgan, University of Notre Dame Anea Moore, University of Pennsylvania Hashaam Jamil, University of Pittsburgh Wila Matos, University of Rhode Island Edgar Chavarria, University of San Diego Emery Smith, University of South Carolina Isaac Miles, University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) Corinne Tucker, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Richard Lee, University of Utah Rena Newman, University of Wisconsin - Madison Bianca Ruffolo, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Joanna (Jo) Niswonger, University of Wisconsin Colleges Yessenia Santamaria, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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