“Let’s choose to take care of each other.”
Leela Sathyaputri, who hails from Iowa City, won the competition to be the student speaker at the December 2018 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Commencement ceremony. She is graduating with High Distinction and University Honors, having completed the major in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. She has been on the Dean’s List throughout her time at Iowa, and has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious honor society in the liberal arts.
Taking full advantage of being at a major research university, Leela has conducted high-level research as an undergraduate. She has worked directly with several faculty members in the Carver College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, receiving fellowships from the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates. She is co-author of a published paper in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, and has studied abroad to perform public health research in the Dominican Republic.
With certification in Trauma-Informed Care, Mental Health First Aid, Peer Support, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Leela is a Mobile Crisis Outreach Counselor for the Johnson County Crisis Center, working to defuse crisis situations in emergency rooms, jails, and other sites throughout a large area in Iowa.
After taking some time off to breathe after graduating, she plans to pursue medical school.
Leela wrote her Commencement speech as “a reflection on solidarity, bravery, and sensitivity to the experiences that make us human.” Listen to her address to her fellow graduates here: