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GenNext: 5 Indian American Aspiring Public Service Leaders Among 60 Truman Scholars 

GenNext: 5 Indian American Aspiring Public Service Leaders Among 60 Truman Scholars 

  • They were selected from 709 candidates nominated by 285 colleges and universities.

Five Indian Americans college students are among 60 aspiring public service leaders selected as Truman Scholars. They include Rincon Jagarlamudi, Vanderbilt University; Aravind Krishnan and Tej Patel, University of Pennsylvania; Pranav Krishnan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Anitvir Taunque, Ohio State University. This year’s scholars selected from 709 candidates nominated by 285 colleges and universities. They were recommended by “17 independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.”

Rincon Jagarlamudi majors in biochemistry with minors in medicine, health, and society and data science at Vanderbilt University. On campus, he is the co-president of Next Steps Ambassa’dores, “the dynamic peer support group for Vanderbilt’s inclusive higher education program for neurodiverse individuals,” according to his Truman profile. He also serves as the campus policy chair for Active Minds, “a group committed to heightening awareness and supporting mental health on college campuses.” He founded the flagship ambassador site for the nonprofit Hip Hop Public Health, using hip-hop music and culture to break down cultural barriers to health literacy and equity in Nashville. He intends to enter medical school and earn an MPH degree post-graduation. Outside of advocacy and service, he can be found watching Formula 1 races, singing karaoke, or playing pickup basketball with friends. 

Aravind Krishnan studies molecular & cell biology, healthcare management & policy, and statistics at University of Pennsylvania. He intends to pursue an MD/PhD focused on immunology and communicable diseases. He subsequently “hopes to work with the National Institutes of Health on continuing this research and also translating his findings by implementing community-informed interventions, with the aim of developing his own lab with these foci,” his Truman profile says. He founded ToxiSense, “a research organization focused on creating more cost-effective, sustainable, rapid diagnostics for bacterial toxin contamination and infection.” He also helps lead the Shelter Health Outreach Program, “an organization of over 100 students alleviating health disparities faced by Philadelphians experiencing homelessness and other barriers to care,” his profile says.

Pranav Krishnan studies political science and economics and is interested in international security, foreign policy, and strategic competition at University of Wisconsin-Madison . On campus, he leads the Alexander Hamilton Society for Foreign Policy, is an editor for the Wisconsin International Review, and volunteers with the Missing in Action – Recovery and Identification Project, as well as Service to School. Previously, he worked as an international development researcher for Dane County and interned at the Center for American Progress and the US Department of Defense. He plans to pursue an MSc in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science before attending law school and “seeking a career in public service to promote principled and prudent American engagement abroad in championing democracy, human rights, and international law,” his Truman profile says.

Tej Patel is studying molecular biology, healthcare management & policy, and statistics at University of Pennsylvania. He co-founded the Social Equity Action Lab, “a youth-led think tank that brings together students, institutional partners, and policymakers across the country to inform legislation on key issues such as America’s mental health crisis, value-based payment reform, and healthcare decarbonization,” his profile says. On campus, he is the director of the Locust Bioventures group, coordinator for the Netter Center High School Pipeline Program, and policy/outcomes researcher for the Shelter Health Outreach Program. He also interned with the Mongan Institute for Health Policy and Institute for Healthcare Improvement, working on projects covering Medicare Part D policy and alternative payment models. He intends to pursue an MD/MPP and leverage insights from medicine and policy to improve nationwide care delivery.

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Anitvir Taunque is currently studying biomedical science at Ohio State University, and “is passionate about health literacy, particularly how it impacts the ability of patients to receive and follow through with prescribed medical care,” according to his Truman profile. He founded the Columbus chapter of Red Saree, “a nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness for and decreasing the prevalence of heart disease within ethnically diverse communities.” For the last several years, he has also been an involved volunteer in multiple free clinics and spent a summer abroad in India volunteering at a mission hospital surgical center. He built ServUS, “a sustainability start-up devoted to empowering and incentivizing students to engage in service,” his profile says. He is currently pursuing a fellowship through the Asia Foundation’s LeadNEXT ambassadors program focused on global leadership and collaboration. He hopes to pursue a combined MD/MS with a concentration in health policy management to guide health literacy decision making. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, playing chess, and trying all kinds of different food.

Established by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Harry S. Truman and national monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of our 33rd President by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders. When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, President Truman embodied this commitment to the future of public service by asking Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For almost fifty years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds to public service.

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