Student Leader Vihbuti Arya

Born in India, Arya and her family moved to the United States 10years ago for better education opportunities. She adores herfamily, especially her older brother.

She attended high school at Brooklyn Tech where she majored inbio-medical sciences. She was a member of the Arista National HonorSociety, she wrote for her high school newspaper and was a memberof the choir, among other things. She says the choir was and stillis her passion.

“We sounded well,” she said. “And, our coordinator was ourfootball coach.”

While in high school Arya was also very much involved with theDouble Discovery Center at Columbia University. DDC, as it moreknown as, is an inner city college prep program. To this day, sheis still very involved with the program and has said that a lot ofgood things came from that.

“Inner city students have limited resources,” she said. “Theopportunities presented to me played a major role in my success. Iwant to give back to them and help motivate other inner citystudents to maximize their experiences and develop themselves asindividuals through higher education.”

Arya came to St. John’s because it “would cause the least amountof financial stress” on her family. And, she chose pharmacy as herfield of study and future profession because of the numerous careeropportunities.

“I love the human body,” she added.

While in her fourth year as a pharmacy student, which is a largetask unto itself, Arya is very involved at St. John’s. And thoughher choice of involvement might be due to personal preference, herreasons for getting involved are not.

Arya applied and took on the position as a Resident Assistantbecause she wanted to motivate other females and provide a strongexample for the female students who live on campus as well as beingsomeone they can come to for support. As a L.E.A.P. studentfacilitator, Arya is able to contribute to students by teachingthem time management skills as well as develop herself as a publicspeaker.

She joined APHA as a way of giving back to and being activelyinvolved with her future profession. Arya is one of eight regionaldelegates for APHA. Another way to give back to her career as wellas her college here at St. John’s is by being a PharmacyRepresentative in Student Government, Inc.

“I joined SGI to represent pharmacy students and voice concernson a university wide level,” she said. This is her second yearwithin SGI.

Though her graduation date might seem far way, May 2006, Aryaalready has plans for the PharmD degree she’ll graduate with.

“I might pursue a second degree in either public health or law,”she said. “Even though I’m not sure, I see myself playing a bigrole in public health education programs and possibly regulatoryaffairs in pharmacy (shaping health care policy).”

Though it might seem like she doesn’t have much time to herselfwith her full course load, organizational involvement and her roleas an RA, Arya makes sure she has time for herself and some of herfavorite hobbies.

“I’ve learned that I need to take care of me and take time formyself,” she said. “Family is like God to me, so taking time tospend with them is essential.”

She is also into the performing arts, which at one point shewanted to major in but couldn’t afford to do so. She says she keepsher passions alive through song and dance. She also likes to writeand spend time with her close friends.

After being at St. John’s for four years, one kind of learns theins and outs of the University. One of Arya’s favorite things aboutSt. John’s is the “community feeling that some administration havefostered through close relations with the students.” She also lovesthe Pharmacy program and the fact that she had been given theopportunity to come to a university and get and education.

She sums up her life by quoting George Bernard Shaw: “Life is nobrief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have gota hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly aspossible before handing it onto future generations.”

When asked what the hardest thing she had to overcome to getwhere she is today, Arya replied, “There is always someone in abetter or worse situation than me.”

“I feel blessed for all that I have. I see every experience asan opportunity to learn from and grow from because even thehardships have molded my character.”