Home / News / Volunteer gig at hospital leads ASU grad to the field of science of health care delivery

Volunteer gig at hospital leads ASU grad to the field of science of health care delivery

Saigayatri Darira received the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship all four years, as well as New American University Scholarship

Through her involvement in the Medallion Scholarship Program, one of the ASU Alumni Association’s signature scholarship initiatives, Saigayatri Darira said she has made friendships that will last a lifetime — and it all stemmed from a group chat about going to a football game her first semester at ASU.

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.

Graduating senior and Medallion Scholar Saigayatri Darira found her passion for health care in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona. 

“I was volunteering in the emergency room of one of the main hospitals in Prescott and realized I love the environment of health care, but I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor,” she said.

After coming to Arizona State University and learning more about how the U.S. health care system works, she discovered that she wanted to learn more about population health and work toward improving health disparities. When it came time to write her honors thesis, Darira naturally chose a topic related to her field of study, the science of health care delivery.

“My honors thesis is focused on interviewing health care leaders in Arizona and analyzing the answers I have received,” said Darira, who received the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship all four years and the New American University Scholarship. 

With the help of her thesis director, Dr. Bradley Doebbeling, she has strengthened her skills in health care research. Darira said she is grateful for the professors she worked with at ASU as they taught her valuable knowledge about health care and gave her guidance as she made decisions throughout her undergraduate career.

In addition to health care, one of Darira’s other passions is sustainability. By being a part of Changemaker Central and GreenLight Solutions at ASU, she has been able to connect with new people while helping solve problems that matter to her. 

“I feel like I am able to make an impact on my passion for sustainability through connecting with others and working on projects,” she said. 

Darira added that if she was able to solve one problem on the planet, she would tackle the issue of waste going into the ocean. 

“I would try to find innovative solutions with others to break down plastic without harming our planet,” she said. 

One of Darira’s favorite aspects of attending ASU has been the friendships she has made. Through her involvement in the Medallion Scholarship Program, one of the ASU Alumni Association’s signature scholarship initiatives, she said she has made friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Darira remembers wanting to attend a football game during her first year as a Sun Devil but not having anybody to go with. She reached out to her scholarship cohort via group chat, and someone quickly responded and invited her to join him and his friends. The friendships she made at that football game have been some of her strongest throughout college.

After graduation, Darira will be continuing her education at ASU by working toward her master's degree in the science of health care delivery.

Morgan Harrison
mhernqui@asu.edu