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Meet your Class of 2021 Undergraduate Student Speaker: Kinu Aneja

Drexel University School of Education

Kiranjot Aneja

June 1, 2021

The School of Education's 2021 Commencement Ceremony will include dynamic student speakers who applied and were chosen to address their fellow graduates. Before you hear them speak at commencement, get to know your Class of 2021 Undergraduate Student Speaker, Kinu Aneja.

What is your name?

Kinu Aneja

What is your major?

Elementary Education Pk-4

Why did you choose Drexel?

I fell in love with the location and the elementary ed program was packed with lots of field experience that I knew would equip me to become a better teacher. My mom was also really happy during the tour because it was close to home, so it was an easy decision!

If you could describe your experience at Drexel in one word, what would it be?

There are so many words I could use to describe my experience at Drexel. Exceptional. Special. Challenging. But if I had to pick just one, I would say transformative. I have grown so much over the past four years, both professionally and personally. It’s incredible to reflect and see who I have become. A much stronger, more confident, and ambitious young woman, ready to become the teacher leader she learned about in EDUC105!

What are your plans for after graduation?

I hope to be teaching kindergarten in the School District of Philadelphia! I can’t wait to have a classroom of my own and continue my path as a teacher!

How has Drexel helped you grow not only academically, but also as a person?

Being on campus helped me discover who I was, outside of my family’s expectations. I grew not only as a teacher, but an artist, and an advocate. I learned how to use my voice to make a difference, no matter how small.

Who are some of the professors that had a big impact on you? How?

I’ve been so lucky to have such a strong support system throughout my undergraduate experience. First, I’d like to thank Dr. Ulrich for inspiring me on day 1 to be an advocate for all students and continuing to believe in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself. Second, Nomi Eve, an incredible professor outside the School of Ed, who gave me an opportunity to perform with Story Medicine, an incredible class that puts a smile on children living in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has made my college experience infinitely better and I owe her many thanks.

What is your favorite memory at Drexel?

My favorite memory at Drexel comes from this past year during my student teaching residency. One Thursday before the end of the day, a student remarked, “I want to tell a joke!” One joke sparked another, and one by one, my little kindergarteners became comedians. Knock-knock jokes and “Why did the chicken cross the road?” lead us to creating “Joke Thursday”, a weekly occurrence that always put a smile on our faces.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Is that where you find
yourself now?

Aside from my desire to be the next Indian Hannah Montana, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I knew I wanted to help make a difference in a child’s life. My parents spun this as me becoming a pediatrician, however, after many fainting spells I experienced while giving blood, I knew the only OR I could see would be on Grey’s Anatomy. I knew I wanted to make a difference, to give back to my community. I didn’t realize until I was older that that is what a teacher does. A person who makes a difference.

Any advice for future students?

Take advantage of every opportunity! Join every student organization you find even remotely interesting! Go to the concert, go on the picnic, and take that walk along the river! Take advantage of everything Drexel has to offer, because those four years go by quicker than you think.