At just 14-years-old, Arusha Anupindi was one of the youngest students to take part in the University of New Hampshire’s Project SMART program this past July. An acronym for Science and Mathematics Achievement through Research Training, Project SMART is a four-week summer intensive designed to challenge high school students with both an aptitude and passion for the STEM fields.
Anupindi, a sophomore at the Academy for Science and Design in Nashua, NH, had never been away from home before and experienced her first taste of college life at the Hubbard dormitory on the University’s campus. “It was amazing. I met a lot of people from different cultures all over the world,” said Anupindi. “We went stargazing, played games, even took a trip to the New England Bio Labs.”
At the beginning of the program, Anupindi’s mother, Rama, said, “I’m hoping Arusha will learn as much as she can so her dreams can be fulfilled.” And now, after a month of intensive study, lectures, field trips, research, and networking with like-minded students from around the globe, Anupindi is even more determined to meet her goals of developing a career in medical research. “I am focused on current cancer treatments and how they can be improved,” said Anupindi.
Anupindi’s father, Sharma, knew that she’d enjoy the immersion experience in bio- and nanotechnology research, but wasn’t sure how she’d feel about being away from home for so long. “She’s gained a lot of confidence through this experience,” he said after watching his daughter explain her research on gene therapy, radiation, and chemotherapy to the participants that gathered at the Project SMART poster session held in Morse Hall on the last day of the program.
- Victoria Forester Courtland