The "Meet Your Student Leaders" series provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to get to know the students who run the various graduate student organizations at UAB.

Radhika Chadha headshot.

Q: What is your name, age and program of study?

A: “Radhika Chadha, 28, doctoral student in Neuroscience.”

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: “International Student Liaison for GBSO.”

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: “To help new international graduate students to settle in their program through International graduate mentor program, organize GBS International webinar for incoming students and advocate for international students’ issues.”

Q: How much time do you dedicate to the organization?

A: “GBSO meetings occur once every month throughout the year. We also meet and discuss details related to organizing events with sub-committees quite often.”

Q: How are you benefitting from this leadership position? How will it help you achieve your future career goals? What are you learning from this role?

A: “Leadership positions help you develop diverse skills such as working in teams and being accountable for events, which are vital for success in almost all career options.”

Q: Why should graduate students get involved in student organizations?

A: “It is important for graduate students to understand how to be leaders, be responsible for important events and advocate for students’ related issues. Moreover, it is critical for graduate students’ mental health to get away from coursework and lab work sometimes.”

Q: Why should graduate students get involved in leadership positions within those student organizations?

A: “GBSO has been extremely helpful to not only talk about my concerns, but actually finding solutions for them. For an instance, I have been deeply concerned with the struggles of incoming international graduate students as I have been through that phase. Thus, we worked on creating international mentor program as well as initiating an annual international webinar to help them.”

Q: How do you balance being a graduate student with the responsibilities that come from this leadership position?

A: “You learn to become an expert in managing time in graduate school. Moreover, since the organization consists of mostly graduate students, we all understand deadlines & urgent work related issues, so we help each other in events accordingly.”

Q: What else do you do?

A: “I have been a mentor in different programs - summer program in neuroscience, International student mentor and Women in Science. I have worked with neuroscience theme admissions process and been a student interview panel member. I volunteer for Brain awareness events in McWane Science Center. Sometimes I travel to see my husband/family, as well.”