July 27, 2014
Resham Rahat vividly recalls her first visit to Millsaps College.
“I sat in a literature discussion about Dante’s Inferno and observed a passionate exchange among the students and the professor,” recalled Rahat, now a rising senior at Millsaps. “The professor acted as a mere facilitator providing insight and direction in the conversation while the students derived logical and meaningful analyses from the readings. It seemed as though everyone was collectively invested in the development of the discussion and was interested in its eventual outcome. By the end of the class, I knew that Millsaps was where I belonged.”
Coming to Millsaps from Meridian, Rahat is now majoring in biochemistry and plans to become a physician specializing in internal medicine. She said her academic experience at Millsaps has shown her how gratifying it can be to accomplish the goals for a class as set by a professor.
“My favorite professor is Dr. (Wolfgang) Kramer, an associate professor of biochemistry and chemistry,” she said. “His biochemistry class is arguably among the most difficult classes offered at Millsaps. It is also the most rewarding.
“The comprehensive scope of material covered is prodigious. Dr. Kramer presents even complex concepts in a manner that is fathomable and allows the student to appreciate the magnitude of the material that is being taught. His enthusiasm for teaching is contagious. In his infamous hours-long exams, he will provide cookies and tea, even a game of Frisbee, to lessen the strain for his students.”
Millsaps offers countless enticing ways to become involved, and it can become a challenge to say no, she said. “As time progresses, you learn how to maintain balance and moderation in order to live a well-rounded academic, social, and personal life.”
She has distinguished herself as a member of the leadership honorary Order of Omega, the pre-health honorary Alpha Epsilon Delta, and Beta Beta Beta biological sciences honorary.
Rahat is president of the Millsaps College Gamma Zeta Chapter of the women’s fraternity Delta Delta Delta, secretary for the Student Association of the American Chemical Society, and a leader of Foundations, which helps new students adjust to campus life.
She is also president of Millsaps Masala, an organization on campus that promotes south Asian culture, focusing on religion, music, and dance.
“As my family is originally from Pakistan, I have been raised in the Bollywood film and music with a passion in choreographing and in dancing,” she said. “I was never professionally trained and did not have the opportunity to fully explore that interest until my freshman year when I learned about the Millsaps Masala organization.
“Our major annual event is Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which celebrates universal themes such as the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness,” she said. “In recent years, it has developed into celebrating and welcoming all forms of diversity. Students from all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to participate, whether it be via dancing, singing, or participating in a fashion show.
“Diwali is a time for cross-cultural engagement and a true celebration of diversity. A testament to that fact is that I, a Muslim from Pakistani origin, am leading an organization dedicated to a traditionally Indian, Hindu festival, and find it to be one of the most enjoyable and gratifying experiences of my time at Millsaps.”