Celebrating Graduate Students Building Community: Shruti Sharma

UGA Graduate Education empowers students to make a difference in their communities. Our graduate students have contributed in a variety of ways to build community within their departments, the university and larger community. While there are so many amazing students we like to highlight those who have contributed above and beyond to build community within their disciplinary areas on campus and within the broader community of Georgia. This selection was based on the many nominations from their peers at the institution and within the community in which they served.

Shruti Sharma was nominated by her graduate coordinator, Rakesh K. Singh.

To connect UGA Food Science students to the experienced professionals in the field, Shruti created a food science mentorship program, “Mentor Me.” The program has served 25 students and provided each student with at least one professional mentor based on their interest areas. This unprecedented program helped the students get exclusive interaction time with their mentors and learn from them more closely. She encouraged every student to explore opportunities for skill development beyond the classroom through competitions, skill – transfer workshops, interactive learning sessions, and thematic presentations. Shruti has exceeded expectation in support of fellow students via several innovative programs that have helped them in leadership and other skill development.

What do you hope to see in the mentorship program you developed?

“I sincerely wish that with the help of the professional mentors, the students are not only able to identify their passion early on in their career but also have a solid plan of how to chase their goals.”

What advice would you give students looking to make a difference like you?

“Think of the times when you felt that availability of certain kind of resources could have enhanced your college educational experience tremendously and try to provide others with what you missed but desperately wished for.

How has this year been different than the most recent?

“With things getting back to normal, this year was filled with overwhelming opportunities which were suspended during the pandemic… in-person meetings with people, sharing food together, undisturbed pace of research, conferences and having new international students join our department/program.

Why UGA?

“Besides its high standards of education and research, UGA has a rich cultural experience for every student to bask in. During my grad school residency in UGA, I have had opportunities to grow in several different ways and build the confidence to encourage others to go get it, because they can! ”


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