Srijan Velamuri ’23

Name: Srijan Velamuri 
College/University Attending: Johns Hopkins University 
Major/Area of Interest: Neuroscience 
Years at Shipley: 3 
Environmental Club (9th, 11th, 12th grades), president in 12th grade- Chess Club (11th, 12th grades), co-head in 12th grade- SPARC research group (11th grade)- Shipley Singers/Glee Club- Sports: fall squash, winter squash, tennis  
Who was your most influential teacher and why?  
Mr. Clement was my most influential teacher. When I visited Shipley as an 8th grader, I got to spend about 15-20 minutes in his class, and he was talking about interesting neuroscience topics like phantom limbs. His enthusiasm led me to participate in the Brain Bee, where I delved deeper into the subject and became interested in pursuing it in college. Also, when I was eager to volunteer in a real research lab, he guided me on how to decide on a topic and how to reach out to professors, even though he wasn't yet my teacher. This year, the class has been very fun and definitely lived up to my expectations.  
What was your favorite class and why?  
My favorite class was Comparative Anatomy and Neuroscience with Mr. Clement; I was very interested in the subject matter, and Mr. Clement always had interesting examples that put the body and brain systems into the context of society. I also really enjoyed Conspiracies: A Comprehensive Study since it was such an interesting topic (very different from the many STEM classes I took), we got to make fun and creative presentations (like on aliens and the CIA), and we got to conduct experiments on others at school testing social conformity.  
What was your most memorable experience at Shipley?  
I enjoyed my experiences in the Chess Club, where I organized multiple tournaments, both for students in the school and against other schools. It was especially great to see how much the community's interest in chess (and the enrollment in Chess Club) grew in just over a year. What does Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing mean to you? 
To me, it means not being afraid to take bold chances and having big dreams, but also never forgetting to acknowledge the many people who help you along the way. Complete this sentence: Shipley has prepared me to… Advocate for myself and take all the necessary actions to accomplish the goals I set.  
How has Shipley prepared you to be your best self and do your best work? 
The community at Shipley has been central to my experience. I knew that I could count on my friends to look out for me and help me if I was stuck on an assignment. Also, whether I was preparing for an AP test, trying to improve at writing essays, or organizing new events, I knew that I could count on my teachers to guide me in exploring my interests and finding the best way forward.  
How has Shipley encouraged you to take risks? 
 Many of the experiences I had at Shipley were brand-new to me, like how I had never before picked up a squash racket or taken such an active role in expanding a club. I learned to actively try as many new things as possible, even if at first I felt like I was struggling, which exposed me to many things I never thought I'd be interested in.  
Please write a short reflection on your time at Shipley and what is has meant to you.
When I first came to Shipley as a new student in 9th grade, I never imagined that I would find such a close friend group so quickly. Even though I moved away during 10th grade, I kept hoping that I could come back, and when that dream came true in 11th grade, I was welcomed back immediately. I've always felt supported and at home at Shipley, and that has helped me to grow so much as a student and a person.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.