Shilpa Rajagopal

I strive to be a doer. Through my different activities, I hope to develop a perspective built on the creativity of challenging myself to reach new heights and be an impactful student contributor. During high school, I was editor-in-chief of our school’s award-winning yearbook, leading an integrated staff of student writers, photographers, and editors. The experience has helped me understand the essence of strong leadership, the ability to stay motivated and approach problems in a new light. I also served as president of the Prom Project/Working Wardrobes club which raised funds for low-income girls, student advocacy representative for the Irvine Unified School District, and research assistant for Professor Andrew Highsmith at the University of California-Irvine. Outside of school, as a former dance instructor and member of the Arpana Dance Company in Irvine, CA, I had the opportunity to perform for various non-profit organizations across Southern California. Over the years, the act of deconstructing my dancing and working with choreography has challenged me to push beyond the limits of my mental comfort zone, allowing me to discover skills not only as a performer, but also as an author, translator, and innovator. It has helped open my eyes to different styles and allowed me to integrate a similar creative element in my academic endeavors. At UT Austin, I plan to pursue a double major in economics and biology as a Health Science Scholar. As someone who values the breadth of knowledge and understanding that stems from interdisciplinary learning, I hope to merge my interests in the natural and social sciences by working towards the advancement of medicine and healthcare initiatives.

Major: Biology

Honors Program: Health Science Honors
Other Academic Interests: Healthcare, Economics, Public Policy, Research

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
The Forty Acres Scholarship Program is defined as more than an academic scholarship. I was drawn to the program because of the opportunities it provides for exploration, discovery, and growth through its many networking opportunities, events, and funding for scholarly pursuits at a global level. Through Forty Acres, I have met incredibly bright, talented scholars who actively work to make our campus a more engaging and diverse environment. I am both inspired and humbled to be around such unique individuals and supportive staff who genuinely care about my passions.