Columbus High School alumni are doing amazing things all over the world. Our alumni network includes entrepreneurs, scientists, researchers, performers, educators, athletes, engineers, and many others. If you can think of a field, there’s a Blue Devil in it somewhere.
The best thing about our alumni is their willingness to connect to current students. Alumni join panels to offer life and education advice for ninth and tenth grade students and act as senior project mentors and expert advisors for AP Capstone students.
A 2021 graduate of University of Alabama at Birmingham with a B.S. in Neuroscience, minors in Japanese, Biology, and Chemistry, and High Distinguished Honors in Science and Technology as a member of the Honors College, Raksha Ramdas has already launched an impressive career.
In the four years since graduation from Columbus High School, Raksha has discovered a novel virus which has been registered in the Actinobacteriophage Database. She established an organization, Coins for Cancer, in Birmingham to financially support cancer patients and their families. They partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and several other local hospitals and businesses. Raksha initiated a student chapter of Coins for Cancer at UAB in 2018 with 5 students. Today, there are more than 350 members, those in leadership positions were trained by Raksha directly.
In the Department of Neurology, Raksha has worked in the lab of Jeremy Herskowitz, Ph.D. since 2017. During that time, she has co-authored papers and articles on PubMed and in Science Signaling and Neuroscience journals, and presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Raksha has combined her passions for medicine, service and cultural learning through travel experiences in Asia. As a medical volunteer in Viet Nam during the summer of 2018, she used her skills to help patients and learn about governmental and policy interactions in different healthcare systems. In 2019, Raksha taught English to elementary school-aged children in rural China. She developed an education reform program targeting issues that impeded access for disadvantaged populations.
This year, Raksha is working as a Patient Care Technician at the UAB Hospital and applying to medical school with intent to attend in Fall 2022.