Swara Patel

Swara is a rising senior at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College where she double majors in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Biological Sciences. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, she moved to the United States at the age of 16. On campus, she leads the founding fellowship of a nationwide college access non-profit, Matriculate, as Head Advising Fellow, recruiting and training college students to serve as peer mentors providing free 1:1 college advising to first generation, low-income high school students. Motivated by her personal experiences with the menstrual taboo and lack of a mandated sex education curriculum in India, she founded 'The Period Society' at the age of 16 which is now a pan-India youth led organization which has educated 45,000+ people about the biology of menstruation to combat period stigma in a culturally informed manner while distributing over a million period products to combat period poverty. She is invested in pursuing a career at the intersection of biomedical research and global health, was named a 2023 Barry Goldwater scholar, and has conducted translational research projects as a Harvard Amgen Scholar and at her current lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a John P. McNulty Scholar. Swara’s efforts as a menstrual equity and gender equality advocate have been recognized as a Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader, Diana Award Recipient, Novartis One Young World Reimagining Healthcare Scholar, Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Initiative Grantee, Brown University Simulation of the United Nations Erinn Phelan award recipient, General Motors and Ashoka Global and Stem for Changemaking Challenge, and Harvard University International Relations Council and Worldview Global Act2Impact Challenge. She was the youngest delegate keynote speaker at the One Young World Summit 2022 in Manchester where she addressed 2,000+ attendees live at the gender equality plenary session and was the youngest panelist at a private roundtable hosted by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle amplifying 8 outstanding initiatives to advance gender equality worldwide. Swara is committed to using her voice to amplify the voices of others in her community and serve as a physician scientist and public servant bridging the gap between science and marginalized groups in society.