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Stand Out Student: Adele Namboodri

Publication date

October 30, 2018 7:45 PM


Tess Martin

Adele Namboodri is a first-year Honors student and Stamps Scholar studying public health and Spanish. After only two months, Adele is enjoying the full-fledged Honors experience by living in Wall, taking a Colloquium course, and actively engaging with the larger Tulane community. Through these experiences, she has explored interdisciplinary connections between the arts and sciences, which she hopes will shape the rest of her time at Tulane.

Adele has found her academic experience to be rewarding so far. Currently, Adele is taking an Honors Colloquium course, entitled “The Scalpel and the Pen: Physician-Authors Through Literary History” with Nathan Nielsen, Associate Professor of Medicine. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a course with a professor from the medical school, something she thought would be inaccessible to first-year students. In the course, Professor Nielson and other physicians tell stories from their own experiences in the medical field, the students read texts by various physicians, and they discuss how both art and science play a role in the writings. Though Adele initially planned to pursue pre-med requirements, she realized only two weeks into the semester that she did not want to be a doctor after being introduced to the interdisciplinary approach to medicine used in her Colloquium. Through this experience, Adele found that she finds the public health side of medicine to be much more fascinating, and she decided to learn more about the medical field from that perspective. She enjoyed how “you can explore a lot throughout” the field, as it exists at the intersection of multiple disciplines. To develop her interests in liberal arts further, she considered studying Arabic, but then “re-fell in love with Spanish” in her classes at Tulane, motivating her to major in that as well.

Outside of the classroom, Adele is also enjoying the residential Honors experience living in Wall. She finds the residents and staff to be incredibly friendly, especially her resident advisor, Dyllan Muller, who goes out of his way to cook a small treat for the floor every Friday, allowing the students to meet one another and chat over homemade food. During the first semester, building this kind of camaraderie among Honors students is especially important and valuable for Adele.

As a first-year student, Adele has also taken an interdisciplinary approach to her collegiate career by engaging with the arts and sciences both on campus and in the community. When an Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senator for the School of Liberal Arts dropped the position in the third week of class, she reached out to see if they needed a replacement and ultimately took over the position where she serves all students enrolled in programs concerning arts, humanities, and the social sciences. In the community, Adele volunteers in an elementary STEM outreach club, going two times a week to lead school-aged children in STEM activities such as building towers or bridges. She thanks her sister, Claire Namboodri, a senior Honors student at Tulane, for helping her to discover these opportunities and for encouraging her to take advantage of them.

With most of her college career ahead of her, Adele is excited to make the most out of her university experience. She plans to travel abroad this summer in Thailand and Laos with a public health program, using her knowledge from her courses this year. Adele also hopes to study Spanish abroad “as soon as possible,” to get the full language immersion experience. At Tulane, she also hopes to continue working through student government and taking advantage of Honors opportunities.

After an eventful first two months at Tulane, Adele has some words of advice for other students. She says that talking to people to learn about opportunities and “just getting to know more about it and then going for it” is a great way to explore what might interest you. Adele notes that, if you discover that something is not for you, most opportunities allow you to stop after a semester, so there is nothing to lose by trying new things. Ultimately, she has found that “some things that you think you won’t love end up being the best things.” With her curiosity, adaptability, and a strong start in her first year, Adele is sure to make the most out of her Tulane career, thriving at the intersection of arts and sciences.