January 17, 2019 - Whether it’s internships, student clubs, study abroad or research, experiences outside the classroom provide lessons that prepare students for success after college.
Shreya Kumar, an undergraduate in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, is laying the groundwork for a medical career through her extracurricular activities. “That’s what I love about UC Davis,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to get involved.”
Kumar grew up in Elk Grove, and she said UC Davis was her first choice in colleges for its friendly atmosphere and strength in psychology and medicine. She is majoring in psychology with a biology emphasis and plans to become a psychiatrist.
Beyond the classroom
Along with her studies, Kumar interns for CONNECTED, a group for women with prenatal or postpartum depression. “It’s an amazing experience to see women in the group come together and support one another,” she said. Kumar is also a social justice coordinator for the Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative, a student-run clinic for the Punjabi and South Asian community, and is also an advocate for PAN’DA, a student club raising awareness about postpartum depression. She has also interned in the Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program at the UC Davis Medical Center.
In addition to working directly with mental health clients, Kumar participates in research focusing on neuroendocrinology of stress and mood disorders. Working in the lab of Professor Brian Trainor has provided Kumar with a variety of experiences, such as manipulating neural circuits in the brain through hormone and neurotransmitter injections. “My experiences have given me an all-around perspective,” she said. “It’s one thing to learn about psychology in class, and another thing to do it in the real world.”
Kumar’s academic achievements, leadership and service were recognized this year with a University Farm Circle Marion Freeborn scholarship, awarded to junior-level women. Kumar has also benefitted from financial support provided by a James and Leta Fulmor scholarship, awarded to incoming students with a major in the College of Letters and Science.