Ankita Chabra says St. Mary’s prepared her for the future
by Nathaniel Miller
Attending school out-of-state can be a terrifying experience. Attending school in a new country can be even scarier.
But for Ankita Chabra (B.S. ’22), leaving India to attend St. Mary’s University was an easy decision. Wanting to be a physician like her aunt, who lives in San Antonio, Chabra and her family were soon making their journey to help her get settled in the United States.
Being an only child and moving away from home for the first time made her slightly nervous, but Chabra said having a family member in town made her more comfortable with her decision.
“We’re a small family so we’re pretty close and stay in touch,” Chabra said. “I didn’t have my mom here, but I had my aunt, who I’m super close with, so that really helped.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry this month, Chabra will continue her education after being accepted into the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Once again, Chabra will move to a new location.
“For me, the most important part of being a physician is the patient interaction. You can know how to care for your patients, but if there is no interpersonal connection, then the patient won’t feel welcomed or loved.Ankita Chabra
This time though, she’ll have an extended St. Mary’s family to welcome her once she arrives.
With the guidance of the Rev. Jim Tobin, S.M., the Greehey School of Business Chaplain, Chabra’s upcoming move will be less scary knowing she will be surrounded by people who have been to St. Mary’s and have been active in welcoming new alumni into the area.
“Because of the people Father Tobin knows, it’ll be nice to have that safety net,” she said.
In her studies, Chabra has participated in numerous programs and honor courses, worked with faculty as a Spring Research Fellow and, in 2021, was accepted into the Cell Biology Research Scholars Program at Harvard Medical School.
But Chabra has said being a physician is more than just having medical knowledge. In addition to welcoming incoming students as a Zaragoza orientation leader, she also served as a President’s Ambassador and volunteered at the San Antonio Food Bank and Good Samaritan Community Services.
“For me, the most important part of being a physician is the patient interaction,” Chabra said. “You can know how to care for your patients, but if there is no interpersonal connection, then the patient won’t feel welcomed or loved.”
Jesus Segovia, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, first met Chabra in 2018 when she took his class. She was not one to shy away from tough questions and always eager to participate in labs and lectures, he said.
“I believe Ankita’s experiences at St. Mary’s have helped her appreciate the importance of scientific discovery in medicine, the benefit of fostering strong community relationships and the impact that a positive and preserving attitude can have on your journey through life,” Segovia said.
Watch a video of Chabra and Segovia discussing Chabra’s time at St. Mary’s.