USA Today honors Kapoor

Student Association President Roger Kapoor may not like being stereotyped as a bookworm, but his academic accomplishments earned him national recognition in USA Today.

One of 60 members of the All-USA College Academic Team, Kapoor is classified as one of “the best and brightest undergraduates found on the USA’s campuses” for original academic results, according to USA Today.

“I was really flattered when I found out about it, and I was honored to be chosen,” Kapoor said.

Kapoor said he felt he was chosen because of his role as SA president and for neurophysiology research he did with Dr. Celia Sladek at the University of Chicago. He was the sole undergraduate student on a team of graduate students that tested the relationship between certain chemicals and the body.

“The research shows a unique relationship between hormones and the nervous system,” Kapoor said.

He said he hopes other scientists further the research to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) problems such as preeclampsia, which affects pregnant women.

Kapoor also co-founded the American Relief Foundation with his brother, targeting countries hit by devastating events. After Sept. 11, his non-profit organization raised more than $10,000 for victims in New York and D.C.

“Anyone who comes from Phillips Exeter Academy (in New Hampshire) and comes into one of the most competitive programs which needs at least a 1,500 on his SAT’s isn’t an idiot,” former SA President David Burt said of his successor. “I’m surprised he managed to balance everything, because it’s a lot to be a full-time student and SA president. It speaks volumes to his ability.”

Kapoor will graduate this May and end his term. He said he will “miss the SA” and that he enjoyed the opportunity to improve the University.

“I’m giving up office with a heavy heart,” he said.

Kapoor said his administration has reached more students this year than in the past.

He happily cited a laundry list of advances which the SA has taken a role in from an improved sense of safety, more 4-RIDE vehicles, opportunities for community service, supporting local hot dog vendor Manouch and creating a precedent for online elections.

“If it wasn’t for the SA, Commencement wouldn’t be on the Ellipse, residence halls would have remained closed during the IMF and World Bank scheduled hearings and dining would not have changed,” Kapoor said.

Kapoor focused on dining because he felt it was the largest improvement. Kapoor worked with other SA members to extend hours, increase vegetarian options and provide more prepared meals during lunch hours. He said he hopes a 24-hour venue will be created on campus to increase spirit and add another option for students during the year.

Stressing that his time is not finished until May, Kapoor said he wants to work on a few projects to ensure the SA’s continued success.

He wants to guarantee Commencement on the Ellipse, help with the transition of president-elect Phil Robinson’s administration and, for the first time in three years, hold a Freshman Block Party.

“I’m crossing my fingers,” he said about the once-annual event, adding that a few logistical details need to be confirmed. If all the plans go through, the event would take place April 6 near Thurston Hall and would have venues such as rock climbing and plenty of food.

“The year as a whole has truly been a precious gift,” Kapoor said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity during my college experience than to represent GW.”

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