Anusha Mehta, Health Promotion and Health Equity

On Dec. 19, UW–Madison will celebrate its Winter 2021 Commencement. We reached out to a few of our students who are graduating from programs in the School of Education to learn about their favorite UW–Madison memories and future plans. Following is a Q&A with Anusha Mehta, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and health equity. 

Photo of Anusha MehtaWhat brought you to UW–Madison? 

I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and I decided to come here because I wanted to experience a new place, new experiences, and a strong education. And UW–Madison has given me all that. I went to a fairly small high school where I was exposed to the same types of people and experiences, so I knew that I wanted something more for my college journey. Though UW–Madison seemed immense at first, the people, the classes, and the environment helped me find my place and a new home. 

What is your major, and how did you choose it? 

I have studied with the Health Promotion and Health Equity (HPHE) program in the School of Education, and I am really grateful that I was introduced to this new program my sophomore year. As a pre-PA student I didn’t really know what major would best suit my interests as well as future career plans; all I knew was that I wanted to do something that would help me see healthcare in many different perspectives. With HPHE, I have not only developed the necessary knowledge to prepare for PA school, but I have learned about the importance of empathy, cultural humility, and intersectionality in the clinical field. I know that this degree is going to guide me to be a more well-informed, empathetic, and impactful physician assistant.   

What was your most meaningful experience at UW–Madison? 

One of my most meaningful experiences was being involved in the CRGC Interfaith Fellowship. I was a fellow for this program last year, and it was something that really made me appreciate the university more. As a Hindu and Indian, I wasn’t exposed to many religious or cultural groups on campus, so when I got the opportunity to apply for this fellowship I didn’t hesitate. I’m so glad I did. It gave me a platform to learn about different cultures, religions, and, most importantly, the unique group of people that go to this school. As (the fellowship) was during the pandemic, it was a great opportunity for me to make some new friends, broaden my perspective, and be an advocate for making this campus even more open and inclusive. 

"With HPHE (the Health Promotion and Health Equity program), I have not only developed the necessary knowledge to prepare for PA school, but I have learned about the importance of empathy, cultural humility, and intersectionality in the clinical field."

What was your favorite class or professor, and why?

Dr. Hills-Meter taught my Anatomy 337 lecture last semester, and that had to be one of the best classes and professors I had. It’s a fairly material-heavy class, but Dr. H-M made it his priority to ensure that students had the best shot at succeeding by making himself available for lots of office hours, being very communicative and personable, and doing a great job adjusting to a semester during COVID-19. 

Any advice for incoming students? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started at UW? 

Something that I wish I would have realized sooner — and sometimes still struggle to remember — is that everyone at college is actually a lot more similar than you think. Coming into freshman year and struggling to be far from home and adjust to an independent lifestyle, I felt really alone and overwhelmed with school. But everyone is in the same boat, even if it’s not explicitly shown. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in social media posts where it seems everyone is enjoying their college (experience), but that’s not to say that each and every person hasn’t struggled in some way or had to face obstacles. 

What are your plans for the future? 

I plan on working at Caravel Autism Health as a behavioral technician and applying to physician assistant graduate programs next semester. 

What is a “hidden gem” on campus, or in Madison? 

One of my favorite restaurants in Madison, some solid comfort food, is The Globe. It is an Asian-fusion restaurant with great food and even better service!

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