Aishwarya Katiki’s Welcome Letter
Congratulations on your admission to the Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago! My name is Aishwarya Katiki and I am currently a senior Honors College Ambassador and am also in the GPPA Medical Scholars Program. I will be graduating this semester with a major in the Biological Sciences and minors in both Economics and MCS (Math and Computer Science). Although my undergraduate journey here at UIC is coming to a close, I am very excited that I am able to welcome you into this innovative and stimulating community of students and faculty that I have been able to be a part of for the past four years!
Throughout my time here in Chicago, I have been able to have really unique experiences coupled with incredible memories. Part of that is due to the amazing resources that are available at the Honors College in the form of mentoring and advising. From classes, research, and extracurriculars to scholarships, internships, and graduate school, all of the advisors that I have been fortunate to foster a relationship with have immensely helped me throughout the process of each. I have always walked out of an advising session feeling more confident, no matter what discussion topic the talk may have been centered around. My favorite part of being part of the Honors College is actually all of the connections you are able to make not only with students but also with your faculty and advisors!
Through Honors College advising, I was able to realize which major and minors really interested me in terms of both the STEM and liberal arts fields as well as how to cultivate my academic plan to ensure I would meet my graduation requirements on time. Whenever I wanted to talk about my professional path, my questions were always met with enthusiasm and encouragement. Furthermore, the Advising Team at the Honors College has been beyond helpful not only academically, but also in terms of the extracurricular playing field as well. Being the president of TEDxUofIChicago and former vice-president of JPHAS (Journal of Pre-Health Affiliated Students), I have firsthand seen the expertise and mentorship that Honors College faculty have to contribute in terms of fostering a community on campus. In terms of research, I have always been motivated to apply for positions and grants that have interested me, no matter how nontraditional they might have been. I was able to find all of my research positions (including my current capstone project) through the network that is present here in the Honors College. The support in this community to foster intellectual achievements as well as holistic experiences has always made me feel supported. From receiving two Honors College Research Grants and an Honors College Study Abroad Scholarship, I knew that if I wanted to pursue a specific passion, this team would be there to help me through the process. I was even able to take an entire semester off during my sophomore year to work full-time at the Barack Obama Foundation headquarters in Chicago through the support of my advisors!
From a physical setting to the current online one, the advising team has always been there to guide me through my own personal college experience. I am forever grateful for all of the support I have received and I hope that you yourself are able to experience what I have been fortunate enough to be a part of during my time here. Once again congratulations on being accepted into such a supportive and enriching community.