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I-Health senior Falguni Deshpande discusses COVID and the class of 2021

Students are attending college in a unique environment, and that includes students in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois. The AHS communications staff spoke with AHS seniors about online classes, truncated courses and how COVID-19 changed their expectations. Today, we speak with Falguni Deshpande, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences.

Q: Why did you pick I-Health?

A: I was unhappy in my previous major and my sister told me to meet with her previous advisor Beth (Frasca). I met up with Beth on the first day of my sophomore year and saw how welcoming the college of Applied Health Sciences is, which made me realize I wanted to transfer into this college. I knew about I-Health because my sister had majored in it, and I decided on majoring in I-Health because I was interested in expanding my knowledge about health and the ways in which our society and environment influence our health and wellbeing.

Q: Which professors had the most impact on you?

A: The (person) that had the most impact on me was my advisor Beth (Frasca). She has always been so supportive of me ever since I transferred into I-Health, and has helped me so much with figuring out my college life and also my future! She is the reason why I was able to make the switch into I-Health and is also the one who encouraged me to apply for the Health Technology master’s program at our university.

Q: What course did you most enjoy?

A: 3. CHLH 470: Technology, Health, and Aging—this class is what made me interested in the field of health technology! The professor Dr. (Tim) Hale was super amazing and I really enjoyed getting to work with a group on a project where we created a health technology product to solve a health issue.

Q: Did you enter I-Health knowing your career path, or did KCH help you decide?

A: 4. When I transferred into I-Health, my original plan was to go to medical school, but my time in I-Health made me realize how interested I was in helping serve diverse populations and also health technology! After talking with my advisor Beth and other people in I-Health, I decided that I wanted to work in the health care field for a few years before going straight to medical school.

Q: What do you hope to do after you graduate?

A: After I graduate, I will be spending another year at the University of Illinois pursuing a Master of Science in Health Technology. After that, I plan on finding a job in the health care field (hopefully related to health technology) and eventually apply for medical school!

Q: What was your favorite on-campus experience?

A: My favorite on-campus experiences are probably when I would go and explore new parts of campus that I had never been to before! As a freshman I lived in Snyder Hall on Peabody Dr, and one time I decided to walk with some friends down the road and I saw the Krannert Art Museum! I would definitely recommend going there, along with Japan House at the Arboretum!

Q: What do you miss most because of the pandemic?

A: I miss attending in-person classes and the walk to/between classes. I loved getting to know new people and saying hi to them if I see them on the quad. I also miss getting to hang out with my friends and doing in-person volunteering through my service organization.

Q: What are the biggest changes on campus, pre and during COVID?

A: The biggest change I noticed was the culture of campus. Before COVID, you would always see so many people hanging out outside on the quad, whether it be chilling with friends, playing sports, or studying. Now, many people tend to stay inside because most of their classes are online. During my entire senior year, I only had one in-person class, which was IHLT 475!

Q: What would you say to recommend I-Health to a prospective student?

A: I would tell a prospective student that the I-Health major really gives you a holistic view of health and helps expand your understanding of what health is and how it incorporates the different social determinants of health. If you plan on pursuing a career in the field of health and health care, I-Health is the perfect major for you!

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