BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, June 16: South Forsyth High School student, Shwetha Mudalegundi, walked away with the scholarship of $20, 000 awarded by WIT Girls NCR Foundation. Each year WIT (Women in Technology) awards scholarships with partners dedicated to advancing young women in STEM – to graduating high school seniors entering college, young women already in college pursuing a STEM major and professional women who are established in their careers.
“My time and experience with WIT was truly unparalleled to any other experience I have had during my high school career. I am so grateful for Women in Technology for inspiring, educating, and motivating young women like myself to pursue careers in the STEM fields, a field that is widely underrepresented by females. I only hope I do WIT proud,” said Shwetha. She also thanked her parents and Ms. Smith, her mentor who extended unconditional support to her ambitions.
Shwetha has won first place honors at the Georgia State Science and Engineering Fair. She has also won first place at the Georgia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium last year. Shweta was a finalist in the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Washington,D.C.
Shwetha’s research paper “Assessment of the Role of Different Imaging Modalities with Emphasis on FDG PET/CT in the Management of Well Differentiated Thyroid Cancer (WDTC)” has recently been published in the Journal of Thyroid Disorders and Therapy. She was invited to speak at the Eighth Annual AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities on November 13, 2015 where she presented her research on “Optimizing the utilization of FDG-PET scans in the management of Thyroid Cancer”.
Shwetha is Founder and President of Junior Civitan organization, an honor society she initiated, recognizing underfunding for special needs classes at her school. It is the first chapter in Forsyth County and the largest chapter in Georgia with over 150 members. As a club, Junior Civitan also attends four Special Olympics events a year. In April, South Forsyth Junior Civitan took 86 members to the countywide Special Olympics event, and some of the self-contained kids returned with awards. She has also arranged fundraisers for the American Red Cross, the March of the Dimes, and Special Olympics.
Shwetha serves as President of Science National Honors Society,South Forsyth High School chapter. She has also been co-captain of debate team. She has volunteered as tutor at NorthSouth Foundation. Apart from Science and Service, Shwetha also manages to spare time for Taekwondo, Violin and Bharatanatyam. She holds a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo and is gearing up for “Arangetram “ or graduation of the dance form Bharatanatyam.
Shwetha will be attending the University of Miami on a full scholarship majoring in neuroscience while on the pre-med track. As a part of the Foote Fellow Honors Program, a program that allows students skip all the general education requirements and go straight to classes geared towards their major, and PRISM Program (Advanced Program for Integrated Science and Math) Shwetha hopes to continue to explore her passion for research.
“Currently I am interested in both the route of medicine and research so a possible MD/PhD is in my future. I will see if I go in one specific direction or another or stick with both later on,” she said. Here’s wishing Shwetha the very best in all her endeavors.