Fourth-year student major in cell/molecular biology. Co-captain of Nachle, RA in Scudder, Student Ambassador, Science tutor at the Tutoring Center, Southasian Cultural Association, Catholic Campus Ministry.
Annie Yu: What made you decide to come to New Paltz?
Aruna Puthota: I started here in August 2007. My older sister came to New Paltz and I didn’t want to come here because I didn’t want to follow in her footsteps but I got accepted into its seven-year Med program. I knew New Paltz was a good school and I liked the campus.
AY: What is one accomplishment you are extremely proud of?
AP: My sophomore year, I kind of fell into a rut because I realized I wasn’t keeping up with the demands of the Med program. I chose to leave the Med program and just continue as a four year Biology student and I think my biggest accomplishment was taking advantage of the opportunities at New Paltz and turning my negatives into positives. That’s when I started to apply to be an RA and excel academically. By setting my own goals, I was able to achieve what I wanted.
AY: Where is your favorite place to go to on campus?
AP: I have a few. When I’m in the library and studying for long periods of time, I like to take breaks and go to the view between Fine Arts and the library. That’s one of my favorite spots on campus. When I was a freshman, I lived in Shango so Old Main Quad will always have a special place in my heart. I made a lot of good friends there and I was also taking painting classes so I would paint on Old Main and I felt at home and very comfortable.
AY: If you could recall one memory of New Paltz that really resonates with you, what would it be?
AP: My first year as an RA, my residence hall won first place in Spirit Week. I was pretty involved with the lipsynch and it took a lot of preparation so it was awesome to be a part of something that everyone put effort into. A lot of memories not only on campus but right off campus as well. Picnics right by Minnewaska, hiking up with CCM (Catholic Campus Ministry) at Mohonk and other things I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t come to New Paltz.
AY: Ultimately, what do you see yourself doing in the future?
AP: I’ve always known I wanted to become a doctor and there may have been some moments at New Paltz where that goal seemed harder and out-of-reach but I still have the same goal I entered college with and I’m still working towards it. I want to go into pediatrics but specialize in behavioral and developmental pediatrics. I’ll probably stay in the Northeast region. I never want to be more than a car or train ride away from my family. If any place involves taking a plane, not an option.