Friday, October 16, 2015

Precious Gem: Ashwin Reddi

Welcome to our first Precious Gems student spotlight of the semester, featuring Ashwin Reddi!
Ashwin is a senior Neurophysiology and Psychology major on Team FORGET IT. He is originally from Clarksville, Maryland, where he attended River Hill High School. Having just come back from what he called a “life-changing” adventure in Nicaragua last summer, Ashwin is undoubtedly a Precious Gem with many stories to tell. 

Team FORGET IT’s research is focused on concussions and their effect on glucose transport, cell morphology, and the brain environment. Ashwin leads the western blots division of his team’s research, isolating vital proteins in order to determine their abundance in cells. In layman’s terms, according to Ashwin, his team purposefully injures neurons, mimicking a concussion, and tests how the expression of glucose changes. As evidenced by his enthusiastic discussion of his research, Ashwin is clearly a passionate member of his team. 

For the past year and a half, Ashwin has volunteered at the Children’s National Medical Center in DC, spending hours on end bringing toys to the children and playing with them. With a smile on his face, he fondly recalled watching Frozen with some of the children he was working with and the joy it brought the kids. Another unique aspect of this Precious Gem is that he hosts his own radio show every Friday from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM: Ashy the Classy! (Check it out on WMUC 88.1). Founded in Ashwin’s sophomore year as a show dedicated to football, the show has since evolved to encompass popular music, campus events, news, and more recently what it’s like being a senior at UMD. 

Over the summer, Ashwin embarked on a cross-continent expedition that took him through DC, Chicago, Toronto, and the rural communities outside of Esteli, Nicaragua. Travelling with Aspire Global Health, a healthcare based non-profit, Ashwin had the chance to look at the healthcare system in Nicaragua as well as bring medical assistance to the people in the outskirts of the city. During this trip outside of the city, Ashwin spent two days living in a mango tree treehouse!

In his free time, Ashwin enjoys listening to music and hanging out with his friends. His favorite TV shows are Scrubs and The Wire. He is an avid football fan who has gone to every Maryland game. When he’s not watching football or working (he is currently in the process of applying to Medical School!), he can most likely be found at Eppley working out or outside playing flag football.
If you ever see Ashwin around campus, be sure to say hello! This earnest, benevolent, humorous, and physically fit Precious Gem will surely regale you with tales of his exciting life inside and outside of UMD.

-16 October, 2015 - David Nguyen

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