Diya Rai-Gersappe has been working hard since she first stepped into a classroom as a kindergartener and now the Huntington High School senior is all grown up and ready to head off to Vassar College.
“As soon as I stepped onto the Vassar campus, I immediately fell in love with the school,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “The school has a strong community with their weekend events and dorm life and it really made me want to be a part of the school. They also have one of the best biology programs in the country, which definitely made the choice easier.”
The teenager has been a star in Huntington’s science research program. She has run on the Blue Devil cross country and track teams and performed with the high school orchestra.
“Vassar’s small size allows for me to have a real relationship with my professors,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “I also found Vassar’s stance on music access for all students extremely appealing. Music has been a big part of my life, but, since I wasn’t planning on being a music major, I thought that I would have to give it up in college. I love the fact that Vassar gives all its students access to music lessons and other opportunities. I also love the idea of being able to get a liberal arts education, but still be able to conduct research at Vassar.”
Ms. Rai-Gersappe plans to pursue a career in medicine. “I also want to continue to pursue my interests in science research, specifically in biomedical engineering and neuroscience,” she said.
A personable, pleasant and all-around nice young woman, Ms. Rai-Gersappe said the highlight of her senior year has been participating in the National Materials Research Society Conference in Boston. “There the research that I conducted along with my partners over the summer and throughout the school year was displayed during a poster presentation session where I got to meet distinguished scientists and researchers from around the world and discuss my research with them,” she said.
With about five more months remaining in her senior year, Ms. Rai-Gersappe is looking forward to the Key Club’s K-Factor talent show and the drama club’s spring musical production of “Crazy for You.”
“I have helped plan K-Factor for the past few years and I have always loved the event,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “It is something that I feel so lucky to be a part of. I have also been in the school’s pit orchestra since my freshman year and I have always loved performing and seeing the actual show come to life.”
What’s Ms. Rai-Gersappe’s advice for incoming Huntington High School freshmen? “Enjoy your time at Huntington because it really does fly by,” she said. “Get involved, participate in things that you are interested in and work hard to accomplish your goals.”
As Ms. Rai-Gersappe starts to increasingly turn her attention to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie in Upstate Dutchess County, she spent time reflecting on her experiences to date.
“I have loved growing up in Huntington,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “I have had amazing teachers and have been extremely lucky to have been surrounded by my family and friends.”