By Benjamin Ginsburg
On the path to college, Sankalp Sinha ’20 had planned out a path to a bright future. After his first year at UC Davis as both a Regents’ Scholar and the 2016/2017 CAAA Blue and Gold Scholar, Sankalp knew that this future is within his grasp.
“UC Davis stood out in terms of its elite academics and opportunities to participate in a wide variety of biological research,” said Sankalp, who is majoring in genetics and genomics. “They have a unique College of Biological Sciences, and they’re very open to getting students into research.”
Starting in his first quarter, Sankalp began interning at the School of Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Damian Genetos of the department of veterinary anatomy and cell biology. They have been working on a research project on the interaction between muscle and bone cell growth, and ways to affect each by modifying gene expression.
“I was excited to work on a goal-driven project like this,” he said. “And I got this research position thanks to the University Honors Program newsletter; a lot of these opportunities come through that pipeline.”
Sankalp has found that participating in the Honors Program provides social opportunities as well. Living in the honors dorm meant that he made friends quickly and directly, and then worked and studied with them in classes that they shared. It also exposed him to people with diverse skills and backgrounds.
“The honors community pushes you to work harder. Having a close-knit community helps you specialize, respect the capabilities of other people, and collaborate in classes and help each other as we all go along our academic careers.”
In addition to his studies and research, Sankalp has taken opportunities to play intramural sports and explore the green Davis environment. He is also an active member for Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative (BPSHI), a student-run organization that aims to provide free medical screenings at local temples.
“Receiving the Blue and Gold Scholarship was a huge affirmation of my goals and my professional pursuits and efforts,” said Sankalp. “These scholarships have opened doors to higher level discussions with professors and research opportunities that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.”