Student Spotlight: Agni Chandora

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November 22, 2011

Nine University of Georgia students were awarded the William Moore Crane Leadership Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year.  The $1,000 award is available to third-year honors program students and is renewable for a fourth year of undergraduate study as long as a student maintains a 3.7 cumulative grade point average. Applicants must have a record of outstanding leadership in co-curricular activities and/or community, civic or religious organizations.  

Agni Chandora, a dual degree student pursuing her B.S. in Biology and a Master of Public Health in Health Policy & Management from Snellville, GA is one of those recipients.  She is expected to graduate in May 2012. 

Agni’s experience in India during the summer of 2009 radically altered her perception of healthcare. She originally went to India for medical volunteering, but she soon realized the significance of public health and administration when she found out more about the present state of India’s healthcare. She soon realized that everyone knew and complained about the poor state of the system, but no one was willing or felt they could make a difference. However, she was determined to help change the system, but first, she realized she had to learn more. When she returned to her second year of college that fall, she decided that while she still wanted to go to medical school after graduation, she wanted to start learning about public health right away, especially more about management and policy.

From her internship with the Athens Health Network, Agni realized realized how health is interconnected with other disciplines such as education and also became aware of the immense, large-scale community effort that is involved in changing a population’s health status.

Agni’s Maymester Taiwan Study Abroad in 2011 was definitely a highlight of her UGA experience. The trip was academically enriching and interactive as she visited Taiwan’s CDC and National Department of Health, as well as a variety of local healthcare centers and institutions. Additionally, she snorkeled in the Pacific Ocean, slept overnight at an aquarium in the seal exhibit, went on a few shopping sprees through the local night markets, and drank lots of bubble tea!

In Athens, she has also enjoyed serving as a Franklin College of Arts & Sciences Ambassador as she has been able to meet a variety of individuals and help with many interesting events. 

As president of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) at UGA, Agni created and now conducts a program to educate children about the importance of health and hygiene.  These fun, interactive awareness classes are conducted as a part of elementary schools’ after school programs and aim to help the children incorporate these healthy ideas into their daily life. With the help of the organization’s members, they have been able to educate students on topics such as dental hygiene, illness prevention, and safety.  She is also very honored to have been named a William Moore Crane Leadership Scholarship recipient for the past two years. 

Agni’s experience with Alternative Spring Break (ASB) was very influential in the formation of her goal of and abilities for a potential career as a physician leader. As an ASB site leader for the Houston, Texas Immigration and Refugee trip, her leadership role did not simply last a week but rather spanned an entire year. Her skills as a leader, planner, and facilitator greatly expanded throughout the year as she had to organize the weeklong service trip for 20 individuals on a limited budget. More importantly, the trip helped improve her understanding of refugees’ lives and needs outside of simply healthcare.

Agni plans to attend medical school and possibly pursue a MD/MBA.  Though she is currently unsure of what specialty of medicine she wants to pursue, she plans both to practice medicine and serve as a physician leader. Her health policy & management classes and travels to India and Taiwan piqued and cemented her interest in the leadership and business aspects of medicine. These instances have influenced her to consider the possibility of leading the creation or reformation of healthcare systems besides also practicing medicine.