Taking a Study Break with Sujana Rupakheti

Photo by Alexsis Page
Study Buddy: Sujana Rupakheti spends most of her time outside of class in the honors student lounge studying to pursue biomedical science in graduate school.

Alexsis Page
Staff Writer

In the Cameron Library, toward the back of the building and past the bathrooms, students will find the Honor Society Lounge. Inside, senior biology major Sujana Rupakheti is deep in her studies.

Rupakheti’s focus and determination make this specific study time easy work. However, she’s not one to shy away from challenges provided by extracurricular activities.

Currently, Rupakheti is the President of Tri Beta Biology Honor Society, President of Biology Club, Vice President of Honor Student Society and Vice President of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

On top of being an officer, she is also an avid member of many other organizations on campus such as the International Club.

Rupakheti said she gets bothered when her schedule is not filled with things to do outside of regular school work.

“I just like to stay busy all the time,” she said. “I think getting involved in different organizations on campus really helps to like keep me busy and learn lots of new things with lots of people.”

Four years ago, Rupakheti said she wouldn’t have believed her life now since she was still living in Nepal, her home country.

While still in Nepal, she attended a seminar led by Cameron’s Coordinator of International Admissions Marcella Gustafson who informed her about the benefits of moving to the states and furthering her education at Cameron.

Rupakheti said the seminar was so powerful that it rerouted her plans, and she decided to attend Cameron. However, her perception of America shattered when she stepped off the plane.

“At first it was totally different,” she said. “Being a citizen of Nepal, we used to watch movies, Hollywood movies, then see all the tall buildings, crowded streets [and] lots of traffic, so when I first came here I had the mindset of how the United States would be.”

Rupakheti said the transition from the life she always knew to her new life was a lot to take in all at once.

“It was like literally so hard for me,” Rupakheti said. “The first night I cried the whole night.”

Over time, she said she began to figure out how to get things done, from discovering Walmart for food to joining the Nepalese Association to find other students with similar backgrounds, but the main contributor to making the U.S. feel like home came after she decided to attend as many campus events as possible.

“Even though I am a science major,” Rupakheti said, “I used to go to English Club meetings [and] business meetings. I really wanted to get involved and know more people.”

Before long, Rupakheti’s presence became a standard for many campus events which she said eventually led to her stepping into officer positions in select organizations.

Coordinator of International Admissions Clara Arent said Rupakheti is a great asset to have on campus from her volunteer work to being a welcoming face for new international students.

“She’s just a wonderful person to have on campus,” Arent said. “If I ever need help with anything, I know that I’m able to reach out to her and if she’s available, she’ll be more than happy to help.”

Overall, Rupakheti said she is glad she took the leap to come to Cameron four years ago. She praised how the small university makes an effort to make sure every student is taken care of.

“I like how Cameron has small classes,” Rupakheti said, “and your instructor is directly interacting with every student.

“During my first semester, my professor would come talk to me about my grades and sometimes even ask about how my families are doing back home. I feel like they are taking care of me.”

Rupakheti said she plans to continue her education by going for her master’s degree in the hopes of going into biomedical science.

For now, she is taking full advantage of the opportunities that Cameron has to offer. Most recently, she was nominated for Homecoming Queen 2017. Win or lose, she’ll always keep her academics as her main focus.

Until her time is up at Cameron, Rupakheti said she plans to continue to stay involved on campus as her busy schedule permits.

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