College of Charleston Student to Become Global Changemaker

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With a strong drive, thoughtful planning and scholarships to empower him, Ronit Pathak has laid a strong foundation to achieve his goal of being a global changemaker.   

Ronit Pathak came to the College of Charleston by chance. The Columbia, South Carolina, native planned to expand his horizons by attending school out of state, but meeting with CofC professors changed all that. 

“The professors showed a personal interest in me – in my intellectual, social and personal wellbeing,” explains Pathak. “Of all the schools I applied to, they were the only ones to reach out and share their contact information. They made me realize that the College is a place where my input would be valued and where I can make a difference – that’s why I came. So far, it’s been an excellent decision.” 

Bryan Ganaway – Honors College associate dean and faculty fellow, director of academic advising and director of the International Scholars Program – is one of the professors who met with the high school junior when he visited in 2020.  

“Ronit displayed curiosity and adventurousness when he came to campus for his scholarship interview,” says Ganaway, who directs Pathak’s academic program, the International Scholars. “In our experience, those criteria are predictors of student success. Ronit enrolled during the pandemic. He wanted to become an M.D., but he was also interested in cost-effective healthcare delivery.  He has triple-majored in international studies, chemistry and biochemistry to provide himself with quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis in hopes of solving such a complex problem.” 

With his focus on making a positive change to global public health issues, Pathak has joined the Medical University of South Carolina’s Neurosurgery Undergraduate Training and Innovation Program. With NUTIP he gets the opportunity to shadow in the operating room, follow doctors on rounds, experience an anatomy lab and conduct neurosurgical research.  

Pathak can focus on his studies, participate in the NUTIP program and can promote change thanks to his scholarships. He received the Class of 1938 Golden Anniversary Scholarship, the International Scholars Program Award, the College of Charleston Foundation Scholarship, the Lucian W. and Peter G. Pinckney Memorial Scholarship and the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation Honors Scholarship. 

He is making a difference at the College as a tour guide for the Charleston 40 Program and the Honors Ambassadors Program. Because he has had such a positive experience at the College, he wants others to know all that a CofC degree offers. 

In addition to his triple major, Pathak is minoring in Spanish in preparation for his efforts to create tangible, sustainable solutions to global public issues. Spanish builds on the East and South Asian languages he speaks, namely Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. To strengthen his Spanish, he worked at a Spanish-speaking clinic in Columbia over the summer and took joy in communicating in their native language.  

“I want to connect with people,” says Pathak. “When you speak in someone’s native language, you speak to the heart and therefore are better able to create change.”  

One of Pathak’s current public health initiatives is specific to the historically underserved neighborhoods on the Charleston peninsula. His goal is to increase the number of free healthcare treatments for the East Side community, a neighborhood near where he lives. 

“I think it will be an empowering way to optimize public health outcomes for East Side community residents,” says Pathak who plans to work in tandem with local partnerships to hold vaccine clinics along with medical supply and contraceptive drives. 

In his short time at the College, Pathak has made a difference on campus and in the community. He has been very deliberate with everything he is doing at the College, all with the goal of being prepared for a life of making a positive impact on a large scale. 

With his drive, thoughtful planning and the scholarships that empower him to explore, Pathak has laid a strong foundation to achieve his goal of being a global changemaker.   

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