Former Singapore student, Radhika Kannan, overcame personal tragedy to become this year’s top graduating student at the University of California – Berkeley
6/2/2015 12:18:40 PM
|written By : Maya Tsering Bhalla|
Radhika Kannan an Indian student is the top graduating student of one of the world’s top universities - the University of California - Berkeley. Despite the shock and pain of losing her mother suddenly in her junior year, Radhika went back to college to shine academically as well as an all-round student. UC Berkeley’s University Medal honours outstanding scholarship, public service and strength of character, and comes with a US$2,500 award. As this year’s recipient, Kannan addressed thousands of her peers on May 16, at a commencement ceremony at Memorial Stadium. Her speech touched on the unpredictability of life, a topic close to her heart.
The 21-year-old, who graduated with a 3.97-GPA, is one of the brightest people I’ve known. She was my immediate junior when I was studying at Singapore’s Global Indian International School (GIIS) and I was always impressed by her bright personality, amazing debating skills and go-getting nature. She reminds me of her mother Ms Geetanjali who was a great mentor to me and went beyond the call of duty to help me during a very stressful time when I was preparing for my IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma.
Radhika was featured in a story in India Se magazine while she was a student in Singapore. She recalled this fondly recently when asked to do an interview. “I’d be honoured to! India Se did my Arangetram piece and it meant a lot to mom,” she said.