Ruchi Shah is a junior at Stony Brook University where she is currently in the pre-med track and minoring in journalism. While there she developed a mosquito repelant and she was featured in IMPACT magazine's top 30 under 30. (Sharon Ahmed)

Communicating science and passion

At 20 years old, Ruchi Shah has achieved more than many people do in a lifetime.

A junior biology major at Stony Brook University, Shah has participated in a Forbes Women’s Summit, already given a TEDx talk, and secured provisional admission to medical school.

“My dream job would be to marry my interest in biology and in science with my interest in journalism and communicating science,” said Shah. “I’d love to be a medical correspondent.”

Shah said her journey began with little more than passion and high school-level science equipment to go on. With the help of mentors, she developed and now plans to market a low-cost, all-natural mosquito repellent that she hopes will bring about global change.

“I think by travelling and talking to people and getting different perspectives, you gain a lot in terms of just different advice,” said Shah. “. . . I’ve also met a lot of women who are now my mentors in a lot of ways.”

This summer, Shah has interned at Fox News, with a focus on science reporting. Her own science research informs her work, she says. “I’m really passionate about investigating diseases and how to improve diagnoses and really improve healthcare in the United States.”

Shah credits careful time management with enabling her to juggle academics, research and a social life.  “It’s really hard balancing everything during the school year,” Shah said. “ I have a planner and it’s almost like every hour there’s something going on.”

Shah said despite how far she’s come, she feels like she’s only beginning. “I’m nowhere near being done,” she said.

“I think when you really find that one thing that clicks with you,” Shah said, “it’s not an effort to be passionate about something.”

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