Ivy League Alums Find Perfect Match as IUPUI Undergrads
Igor Minevich | 2009 Alumnus, Mathematics, School of Science | Ph.D., Brown University
Natasha Arora | 2007 Alumna, Interdisciplinary Studies Program, School of Science | Ph.D., Harvard University
For Igor Minevich and Natasha Arora, the IUPUI Bepko Scholarship was both a ticket to an expenses-paid education and serendipitous matchmaker.
Research opportunities and faculty mentors shaped both Arora and Minevich, building a passion—and now career—in academia. The couple now lives in Boston where Arora is a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Minevich is a visiting assistant professor at Boston College.
Both Arora and Minevich credit their undergraduate experience at IUPUI for preparing them to succeed in rigorous graduate programs, instilling in them the desire to serve the community, and showing them the benefit of having good mentors. Now both hope to make the same impact on students that their IUPUI mentors made on them.
Faculty members Kathy Marrs, Ph.D., and Andrew Gavrin, Ph.D., offered Arora guidance as she pursued an interdisciplinary studies degree offered by the School of Science. She also worked with Mervin Yoder, M.D., in the IU School of Medicine on a research project—an experience that helped prepare her for an undergraduate internship with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
After graduating from IUPUI in two and a half years, Arora went on to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University in developmental and regenerative biology. She now works at MIT in the Biological Engineering department and hopes to become further involved in translational research. She is currently mentoring two students through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
“It is very important to me to mentor those who are at the beginning of their careers,” Arora said. “I have benefited greatly from interactions with my mentors over the years, and it is rewarding to be able to help others in the same way.”
As a mathematics major, Minevich was drawn to the research opportunities and rigorous academics offered at IUPUI. He worked with faculty member Richard Patrick Morton, Ph.D., on an undergraduate research project and realized he had also found a great mentor.
“Professor Morton had a huge impact on my outlook on life as a whole. He affected my views not only in mathematics, but ethics and beliefs as well,” Minevich said. “I want to excite my students about mathematics, and I want to give them the kind of experience Dr. Morton gave me with undergraduate research.”
After graduating from IUPUI, Minevich received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Brown University. The impact Morton and other IUPUI faculty made on him gave Minevich a drive to make a positive impact on his own students. He also hopes to instill the value of community service in his students – a value he learned as a Bepko Scholar at IUPUI.
The couple has been married since May 2012 and looks forward to many more years of supporting each other in their scientific pursuits.
(Photo credits: Vladimir Minevich, top; Jake Bergman, inset)