Pavitra Krishnamani was only 16 when she entered USC through the Resident Honors Program, but she quickly became involved in a wide range of activities — from tutoring community students to founding a dance team to editing health publications.

Without realizing it, she said, she “helped build a curriculum for myself at USC, through extracurricular activities that have helped me learn about other people, as well my major.”

Pavitra Krishnamani

Pavitra Krishnamani

Now those diverse interests are all coming together as the she completes a BA in psychology from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and an MS in global medicine from the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Krishnamani  quickly became involved in the community surrounding USC through a Joint Educational Project (JEP) tutoring program, where she was able to apply her classroom experience in medicine to tutoring elementary students in health topics. This experience led her to seek a program where she could also mentor teenagers, and so she became one of the first student tutors for the Department of Public Safety’s Cadet Program. This program teaches local young men and women about law enforcement and emergency services.

Krishnamani’s interest in global medicine propelled her to find the time to do medical writing and editing as the associate editor for USCience Review, an online science blog, and as senior editor for Trojan Health Connection, the online news source for USC pre-health students.

Her experiences both in and outside of the classroom have inspired Krishnamani to attend medical school and consider becoming a child psychiatrist.

“Although many of the kids believe I have inspired them, I don’t think they realize exactly how greatly they have inspired me,” she said.

— Photo and story by Allison Churchman