Hometown: Fort Mill, S.C.
Campus Night Owl
Shashank Suresh's father is a doctor who treats sleep disorders. A bit of irony in that: even when he's looking fresh, Shashank Suresh often has to confess he didn't get to bed until 2:30 a.m. Sometimes he's finishing assignments. Sometimes he's playing "The Davidson Game," with his three best friends/roommates, reveling in silly arguments or pondering weightier philosophical or religious matters. "I hope that sort of late-night conversation happens elsewhere. I hope it's not limited to campus life!" In any case, he says his dad assures him that he'll grow into a healthier sleep style with age.
Roommates for College, Friends for Life
Suresh has lived with one of his roommates all four years at Davidson, and one has been a hallmate each year except for a year abroad. All his second-year hallmates have a tradition of putting on suits one day a year to have their picture made in front of Chambers-just because they know how valuable those images will be as the years pass.
Split Nationality, One Personality
Born in Bangalore and raised there to age four, Suresh has straddled cultures his whole life. "I'm both Indian and American." The family has lived in England and several different American cities. But they also visit relatives in India regularly. Suresh speaks with native fluency on both continents. "I love the American spirit that you can do whatever you want, and also the deep cultural heritage of India."
The Good Doctor: Scientist and Humanist
A math major, he is taking math and science courses needed for medical school. One summer he worked on bioinformatics in the genomics lab. He and other student researchers brought home a gold medal from an international biological machines competition. Suresh is equally taken with, say, comparative religion and linguistics. He possesses a penchant for academically oriented puns. His dream afternoon is reading Virgil in Hobart Park. In Latin. Suresh figures a career in medicine will allow him to continue to live a balanced life. "I like medicine because it combines science and humanities. You have to know the science, but you also must care about your patients. And you learn that empathy by studying humanities."