Sruthi Kodali, a junior at William & Mary, is an active citizen focused on understanding and addressing the complexities of food deserts. First inspired by an alternative break trip at an urban farm, Sruthi wanted to better understand the realities of food insecurity. She utilized a summer research grant to gather health data and community interviews, and then worked with the urban farm to survey its clients. Her research provided valuable feedback and suggestions for farm's programs. Sruthi also serves a program assistant for the Sharpe Community Scholars program and a mentor in a local high school. Her focus on research and community engagement exemplify civic leadership at William & Mary.
I became interested in the issue of food insecurity my freshman year on an alternative break trip to Lynchburg Grows, a non-profit urban food farm. I was inspired to learn more about the issue, so I developed a community-engaged research project to learn more about health behaviors and attitudes in food deserts. To do so, I worked directly with Lynchburg Grows to design a survey that was distributed on the organization's "Veggie Van" and also conducted one-on-one interviews with local community members. I used the information I gathered to help Lynchburg Grows better work towards their mission. On campus, I serve as a program assistant for the Sharpe Community Scholars Program, a program that focuses extensively on community-engaged research, the secretary for 26, a mentoring program for at-risk minority high school girls, and a site leader for William and Mary's chapter of Alternative Breaks, through which I have led two trips: one to Northern Neck Free Health Clinic and the other to the Steinbruck Center in DC.