GASP: What is your major and why did you choose it? Where do you go to school?
Anantha: I am in a dual degree program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham pursuing a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Organization. I chose Neuroscience because I have always been interested in learning about
the intricacies of the human mind and applying that knowledge in scientific and clinical settings. I chose Public Health because I am interested in seeing the relationship
between the applied sciences and the communities impacted by it. Within
public health, I find creating various health policies at a state, and federal level fascinating and want to learn as much as possible at the local level, about it.
GASP: What do you hope to do after you graduate?
Anantha: I am planning on taking a gap year after obtaining my degrees to apply to medical school as well as conduct further research and outreach about various health issues caused by pollution and environmental contaminants.
GASP: What is your dream job?
Anantha: My ultimate goal is to be a physician serving the public from a policy
and administration standpoint (ex. health officer).
GASP: What do you hope to learn while interning with GASP?
Anantha: I hope to learn more about local policies, specifically the development of the Green New Deal for Birmingham, which addresses climate change and pollution
at a city scale. I hope to apply my knowledge from my public health coursework to assist with building the GND platform through public education, awareness, and outreach efforts. I am also interested in learning about GASP’s various goals with environmental justice from a legal and community-oriented point of view.
GASP: Why is our mission to reduce air pollution vital to you?
Anantha: In my public health courses, we learned about how poor health outcomes are downstream determinants, and it is crucial to consider the upstream
determinants when trying to alleviate them. Pollution in general is a large upstream cause and multiplier of poor health outcomes. By addressing
the roots of the issues, groups like GASP improve and advocate for the community in a sustainable manner.
GASP: What is your favorite food?
Anantha: I am a big fan of any Indian food my mom makes and Thai food from Blue Pacific and Surin West.
GASP: What are your hobbies?
Anantha: In my free time, I paint, rock climb, and spend time exploring the city with my friends.
GASP: Who or what are your influences?
Anantha: Personally, I look up to my father as well as my high school calculus teacher. Professionally, I look up to Dr. Arkoosh and Dr. McKinney as they are leading advocates for equitable health policies.
GASP: What are some other fun facts about yourself?
Anantha: I conduct research about the connections between heavy metal exposure from the environment and neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease. I have a dog named Leo. I enjoy gardening with my dad.