Member Spotlight: Shivani


Shivani Desai


Cincinnati, OH


Junior (ahhh that’s weird!)


Political Science, Anthro:GHE; Minor: WGSS

What are you doing this summer?

I’m in DC this summer! I’m taking a course on policymaking, interning at the FDA Office of Public Health and Trade in the Department of Health and Human Services, and doing research for my fellowship. My internship involves intensive research on clinical trials and examining the FDA’s role in shaping contemporary practices worldwide; I will actually have the opportunity to write and publish a few pieces through the FDA as well! The learning curve was pretty steep when I first started – there were tons of pharmaceutical terms and econ/trade lingo that I was very unfamiliar with, but I’ve been working hard, and I feel like I’m learning a lot! It’s also so humbling and exciting to talk to the people I’m surrounded by. One of the staffers on my team has been to the World Health Assembly four times. We had lunch one day and she told me about her experience. I must have looked like a googly-eyed fangirl because I was so excited and impressed and #blessed to be in her presence!

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The badge says US Government on it, which makes me feel v powerful Also, a picture of myself holding up a picture of myself: narcissistic and meta all at once

DC is  just an incredible city to live in. I’m trying to make the most out of my experience, and go to free events/lectures. Last month, I went to a panel on Senator Gillibrand’s bill regarding sexual assault on college campuses, and next week I’m going to a lecture on obstetric fistula. My favorite memory is when my friend and I camped outside the Supreme Court and witnessed same-sex marriage finally finally become legalized in all 50 states. In between all of this, I spend MANY hours on Netflix watching Parks and Rec, Broad City, and The Bachelorette (no shame). I’ve also been cooking some interesting meals for myself using a $2 pan that I bought from WalMart. Yesterday, I cooked absolutely tasteless tilapia, and last week I attempted turkey burgers (they did not taste like my mom’s). I think I’ll make a nutella sandwich tomorrow.

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Some friends I’ve been hanging out with this summer! I took a $13 Megabus to NYC one weekend which was super fun! I’m lucky that one of my best friends, Reuben, lives in DC, so even though I’m in a new city, I’m never lonely.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re home?

When I’m at home, I love taking my dog for drives and watching him stick his little head out the window! I go for walks with my dad in the park, cook with my mom, and have classic movie night with my little sister (our tradition is to either watch the Little Princess and cry hysterically every five minutes or to fight over which Harry Potter movie we want to watch). Also, I’m still really close with five of my best friends from high school, so we always meet up and go to our favorite local ice cream shop. Over raspberry chip perfection, conversation ranges from deep to stupid as we discuss our passions/life at school/romance/politics/social justice/clothes/high school gossip/future plans/terror over lack of aforementioned future plans/good movies/good books/literally anything and everything else under the sun.

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The Fam ❤

What’s your favorite place to eat is St. Louis?

Rasoi, Mission Taco, and Crepes Etc.

What’s your favorite thing about GlobeMed?

There are so many! My top one is probably when my workgroup, Local Engagement, presented to the chapter, and everyone was so supportive and excited about the work we had been doing. S/O to Antea for being our fearless leader!

Another of my favorite moments was watching my WUSA baby Moid during his kickass election speech, and another was canning with Lis Stark for hours outside of Schnucks. It’s special to be bonded by a common passion for health equity, and I love getting to know such compassionate, diverse, driven, and inspiring people!

What makes you passionate about GlobeMed and our mission?

I’m passionate about global health because I believe that access to health care is a human right. In our contemporary society, where we have care and treatment available, the equitable allocation of these resources is simply the right thing to fight for. I am also specifically interested in how identity politics affect an individual’s access to health care. Structural violence – including systematic injustice due to race, gender, class, sexuality etc. – is inextricably tied to health, and I believe that advocating for global health allows me to combat these inequities as well.

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Geeking out because we’re inside the Supreme Court

Favorite books, movies, TV shows, etc!

My favorite books are

The Awakening

Interpreter of Maladies

A Thousand Splendid Suns

All Harry Potter books – if we disagree about this, idk if we can be friends

Horton Hatches an Egg – that elephant was just so loyal!

One of my favorite movies would have to be Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood musical version of Pride and Prejudice (it’s as fantastic as it sounds).

What are you most excited for next semester?

Next fall, I’m most excited to catch up with everyone, to plan an amazing Hilltop with Niara, and to finally crunch on the WUSTL ice again (I have dreams about that ice)!


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