One of the best qualities Colgate students can possess is a passion for what they love. Senior Kayleigh Bhangdia incorporates that sense of passion when studying public health and environmental conservation, embarking on research projects and traveling the world.
Initially, Bhangdia was set on attending engineering school, but after her April visit, she fell in love with Colgate.
“I remember not being too excited about the school because I still didn’t know much about it, but after the weekend I spent here in April, I knew it was the school for me,” Bhangdia said.
As it turns out, her choice paid off greatly.
“I have worked in an ecology lab since freshman year, and now I’m doing anemia research with a visiting epidemiologist,” Bhangdia said. Over the course of her years here, she’s cultivated an interest in public health, ecology,
demography and field research.
She’s made an impact outside of the classroom as well, serving as the philanthropy chair of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a member of the club squash team and a tour guide.
However, her experiences extend far beyond Colgate’s campus.
“I spent my junior spring in Durban, South Africa on a public health SIT program. I traveled a bit throughout southern Africa after my program ended and spent some time at Victoria Falls. Rafting through the Zambezi River was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Bhangdia said.
Bhangdia also had unique summer experiences doing what she loved.
“I spent the summer after my freshmen year in Chennai, India working with Unite for Sight and administering eye care to community members,” Bhangdia said.
As for advice to current first-years, Bhangdia said each year goes by quicker than the last, so it’s crucial to appreciate every single moment. She also suggests taking intro-level classes in multiple departments instead of solely focusing on finding a major.
Bhangdia plans to approach her future with an open mind, considering the Peace Corps, various public health fellowship programs, entry-level positions at environmental NGO and even traveling to India. Based on all she’s already accomplished, whatever path Bhangdia chooses, she will surely encounter tremendous success and happiness.
“I have absolutely no idea where I see myself in 10 years. I know I want to be pursuing a career in public health, and hopefully I’ll have my Master of Public Health by then. I don’t have any master plan, but I’m excited about the adventure.”