By Valerie Lick
Bhuvaneswari “Abi” Vasudevan is a both dreamer and a doer.
Abi is a freshman in the Chancellor’s Honors Program, graduating in either 2020 or 2021- depending on her final choice of major. She’s currently a member of the Architecture program but is considering 4D Studio Arts. 4D, she explains, deals with time as well as more traditional aspects of art. “A painting is 2D, and then sculpture is 3D. With 4D, you have all of the other stuff and then time – like motion or animation.” Architecture and 4D art share more aspects than you might expect. Possibly the most important aspect is creativity, a value close to Abi’s heart.
She was born in India, but her family moved to Collierville, Tennessee when she was just six months old. Instate tuition was part of why she chose to be a Vol, but another important reason was UT’s exceptional Architecture program. Even though she’s just a freshman, Abi is connected with a quite a few student organizations: the Indian-American Association, the Feminist Alliance, the College Democrats, and – last but not least – the Pokémon Club. “College itself has been an experience,” she says when I ask about her favorite experience at the school. “But my favorite experience has definitely been the people.” Making connections with the people of UT is one thing that Abi is proud of. She’s most proud, however, of being an independent and self-sufficient while away from her hometown.
She laughs when I ask why she chose to join the Chancellor’s Honors Program. “I’m in an Indian family!” she says. “For my family, academic achievement is where you get bragging rights – they can tell everyone that their kid is [in] Honors.” Regardless of why she initially joined the program, she’s excited to see what it’s like to be an Honors Vol. Abi has been engaging with the program’s tenets long before she came to UT, from academic honors to summers volunteering with the local hospital. Abi plans to study abroad but hasn’t decided on a place or a program yet. “Probably a European country, or maybe Japan. Or else South or Central America…” When I point out that her list has at least half a world’s worth of possibilities, she laughs and agrees. Wherever she ends up, Abi is confident that the experience will be something worth remembering. She has the same outlook on the rest of her college experience: no matter what she decides to do, she will make it worth doing.