No matter how far we come in life, we never forget the people and places that have shaped us along the way. For me, one such place is the University of Texas at Dallas, where I earned my undergraduate degree in biology. I went back to visit my alma mater recently, and it reminded me of how much I owe to UT Dallas—most importantly because it’s where my passion for medicine was first kindled.
While I was visiting my old school, I got a chance to talk to the folks at The Link, the UT Dallas newsletter for alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university, and they were kind enough to ask if they could tell my story in their next issue. I thought I’d share it here with all of you:
In her office, just a block from San Francisco’s famed Union Square, plastic surgeon Dr. Usha Rajagopal BS’82 is at the pinnacle of a career that began with a cell biology class at UT Dallas.
“This was an incredibly demanding class,” she explained. “It was taught by Dr. Jost Kemper, who was equally demanding but in a highly encouraging way. I learned so much in that class, about cell biology and also about myself.”
Rajagopal moved to Dallas two years after her parents, so that she could finish high school in her native India. Her father took a job as an accountant with the city of Dallas with hopes of providing a better life for his family. Two years later he died unexpectedly, leaving Rajagopal, her mother and a younger sister with a big decision . . .