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Next Genius Scholar now Pursuing PhD in Bioinformatics at the University of Arkansas

Mansi Chandra, a Next Genius Scholar achieved her goal of studying at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Mansi Chandra graduated from Juniata College, Pennsylvania with a major in Computational Biology, which she designed on her own.

While studying in grade 12 at Delhi Public School, Lucknow, Mansi applied for the Next Genius Scholarship Program. She shared, “My experience with Next Genius was exciting and wonderful. The Next Genius community has been highly supportive and it feels great to be a part of Juniata College as a Next Genius scholar”.

On being interviewed about her experience at Juniata, Mansi said, “I felt anxious before getting there, but it was easier than I thought. I conversed with my classmates and socialized with new people, which was a challenge for me as an introvert, but I eventually did it. Taking one step forward just changed everything for me. Throughout my time at college, I have never been treated differently, even though there are diverse faculty here. Everybody is generous and welcoming”.

Mansi has been exceedingly productive and ambitious at Juniata from the beginning. She explored her interests, did research, and got the chance to design her major, unlike in India. Mansi is more than happy and quite comfortable with the education system in the US. Apart from doing numerous research, she has also been a part of a few clubs on campus. She has made many friends in no time. For a short period of time, she worked in her advisor’s lab and did a research project with her as well. She also plans to work on some other research projects by applying to some other universities. She believed, “You can never fall short of any internship or summer job opportunities at Juniata. It is a place where you can research and work as much as you like to”.

Mansi’s journey was not easy, she faced some obstacles too. She shared, “For the first few weeks, I was feeling excessively homesick and even the COVID-19 pandemic had struck around that time. Food was a problem for me initially because it is completely different from what we eat in India, but I adjusted with time”. However, Mansi was efficient at time management as she easily balanced all her activities and work side-by-side.

Mansi also spoke about how important it is to know how to manage finances. According to her, “In India, students are highly dependent on their parents for finances because working while studying gets hectic. At Juniata, you can work on campus and choose from the huge variety of job opportunities available. You can get involved and earn a lot from these, which will help you in becoming financially and personally more independent. I have been working as a peer tutor for Chemistry on campus for a while. Although, in my case, most of my expenses are covered due to my scholarship, so I only have to look into my living expenses”.

Mansi appeared for a general GRE in 2021. After graduating from Juniata, she plans to apply for a PhD program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

Lastly, Mansi has given a piece of advice to all aspiring Next Genius scholars. She said, “You should take up any opportunity that comes your way to study abroad and make the most out of it. It might seem intimidating at first, but it is worth it. Move out of your comfort zone and explore more. You will get more independence and freedom in every way. Additionally, if you are planning to apply for Juniata in the Next Genius Level 2, then take a look at the programs offered and if they match your interests. The best part is that you will get to have one-to-one interactions with your professors and be able to work on research projects with them. Moreover, you can be involved in as many clubs and activities as you want to. Juniata has an extremely student-friendly, welcoming, and inclusive community”. Mansi is certainly grateful to Juniata because of the exposure she gets there. She also mentioned that if she had not won a full scholarship at Juniata through Next Genius, she would not have been able to explore her interest in Bioinformatics. To apply for the Next Genius Scholarship Program, visit


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