Maximizing opportunities: Her studies, research and service complete, Anushree Chauhan prepares for a law career

Maximizing opportunities: Her studies, research and service complete, Anushree Chauhan prepares for a law career

Anushree Chauhan, political science and philosophy major with a concentration in Honors

Research with the dean and three faculty members in three distinct disciplines? Check.

Five internships, including two with elected officials? Check.

Leadership positions with multiple organizations, including the John H. Martinson Honors College and residential learning and university housing? Check.

Participation in conferences across the United States, including the National Model United Nations? Check.

Community service? Check.

Multiple saber fencing competitions? Check.

When it came to capitalizing on every experience available to her at Rowan University, Anushree Chauhan checked every box.

“The amount I was able to maximize from this university has been really beneficial to me,” says Chauhan. “No matter where I went, I found a community that supported me.”

On Wednesday, May 8, Chauhan will earn bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. Graduating in three years, summa cum laude, with a concentration in the Martinson Honors College and a minor in international studies, she will pursue a career in immigration or corporate law.

Moving with her family to Mount Royal from England when she was in third grade demonstrated to her the inequities of the U.S. immigration system, she says. While her family immigrated without issue, she knows many others are not as fortunate.

“I consider myself very lucky to have won that lottery. Being part of the process makes you want to improve the process,” says Chauhan, who will study for the LSAT this summer as she looks to gain acceptance into one of the nation’s top 14 law schools.

A solid foundation

Through her academics and extracurricular involvement, Chauhan built a solid foundation to pursue that work.

Her first year, she became a research assistant with CHSS Dean Nawal Ammar, an anthropologist. Their research focuses on two topics: sexual assaults on college campuses and economic development in the Middle East.

Collaborating with a dean as a first-year student isn’t something most students would even pursue. Not Chauhan, though she admits it was initially intimidating working on the project alongside Ammar and a post-doctoral student.

Chauhan shined, says Ammar, praising her for her “ambition, diligence, proactive nature, quick absorption of information and problem-solving skills.”

“For everything I’ve done, I’ve never been quite prepared for it,” says Chauhan. “Sometimes you don’t feel you belong, but you just adjust. You learn along the way.”

Exceptionally driven and fearless, Chauhan approached every opportunity at Rowan that way. In the classroom, she regularly approached her professors, inquiring about research opportunities. That led to independent study or senior seminars with three professors—Matthew Lund and Bradley Elicker in philosophy and Kathy Javian in political science.

“I never really had a problem talking with my professors,” says Chauhan. “I thought every student was doing that.”

Studying philosophy has helped her academically, she notes.

“A philosophy degree is a really good foundation for reading, research and writing,” she says, adding that studying philosophy challenged her to read more carefully and think more critically. “It takes a lot more work to truly understand something.”

A leader in Honors

A community assistant for residential learning and university housing—"You deal with high-stress environments, mediating conflicts, a lot of different tasks. After that, I’m ready to enter law school,” she quips—Chauhan got involved in the Martinson Honors College from day one.

A three-year officer for the Honors Student Organization, she currently is service coordinator, organizing events such as community and beach clean-ups and volunteerism with Camden’s Cathedral Kitchen. She also helped lead a food insecurity program that built weekly anonymous meal kits for students.

Chauhan represented Honors at the National Collegiate Honors Council conferences in Dallas and Chicago. Additionally, she served on the NCHC board of directors, advocating for Honors students on a national level.

“She has always been dedicated to Honors and to supporting our community,” Martinson Honors College Dean Lee Talley says, noting that Chauhan has masterfully balanced her academics with her widespread involvement. “Her dedication to making the most out of her college experience is both evident and significant.”

Chauhan’s service also includes serving as president of the Nu Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the nation’s largest co-ed service fraternity. Further, she was a founding trustee for Flow Forward NJ, a non-profit group started by Rowan students that advocates for access to menstrual products, offers menstrual education and conducts research. Chauhan helped write the group’s bylaws.

“I fell very naturally into service,” Chauhan says. “I’ve met a lot of different people doing it. It gives you a new perspective and allows you to stay in touch with different communities.”

Politically active

Involved in Model United Nations for years—she helped found a chapter at Kingsway High School—Chauhan was on Rowan’s team at the National Model United Nations in New York City. The Model UN is a simulation of United Nations proceedings. As a first-year student, she was elected chair of the International Organization for Migration Committee at the conference after a highly competitive application and interview process.

The work was valuable—and fun, says Chauhan. Former vice president of Rowan’s College Democrats, she was a student intern for Rowan Votes, which is part a national effort aimed at increasing student voter turnout. Additionally, she worked on Gov. Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and currently interns 16 hours weekly at the Camden office of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

“Being engaged with politics puts you in the middle of things,” says Chauhan, who also interned at the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office and two law firms. “I would like to stay politically active after law school, definitely research-wise and legislative-wise.”

Author of an article published in the Rutgers Undergraduate Law Review, Chauhan initially applied for an internship with Booker’s office last fall. When she was not hired, she reapplied—and was hired—in January.

“Working with Sen. Booker’s office has been a very, very cool opportunity. Networking helps get you places. You get denied, you learn more,” says Chauhan, who has worked with Booker’s constituents, drafted policy memos and attended a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seminar.

This summer, she will complete an internship in the Washington D.C. office of Congressman Donald Norcross.

Her approach to landing jobs and internships is much like the sport she loves. A competitive saber fencer since high school, Chauhan enjoys the tenacity, the fast pace—and the mental and physical give and take—that the sport requires.

“Fencing is very dependent on your reflexes,” says Chauhan, a member of Rowan’s fencing team. “There’s a lot of movement in small amounts of time and a lot of thinking on your feet.”

For Chauhan and her family, Commencement Week will be especially exciting. Her sister, Jayshree, will graduate from Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine on May 9. She matched for a residency in family medicine.

“My family is my biggest support system,” Chauhan says. “I’m very grateful to have had that. I’m proud of where I’ve come from, how I’ve gotten here and how hard I worked.”

Every spring, Rowan University highlights one graduating student from each school and college. Read more stories about this year’s featured graduates