Scholar Spotlight

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Spandan Garg Bio:
Involvement within the community is key to growing as a person and student. Through Beta Alpha Psi I helped host a case competition, Accounting for the Future, for local Indianapolis schools encouraging high school students to undertake a college education. We inspired students to chase higher education and for many, follow a career in business. Now I am working alongside Hudson Holland Advisers to create a peer mentoring program for incoming HHSP students. The goal is to help all Hudson Holland students be better connected amongst each other, and assist new students in acclimating and exceling in a college environment.

What is your motto you live life by?
Regret nothing as long as you learned something.

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Miryea IxChel Cisneros Bio:
Since my freshman year I have been part of an organization called STEM Outreach, an organization founded by two Hudson and Holland Scholars. STEM Outreach at Indiana University is an after-school program that works with children ages 5-11 to teach them principles in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on activities and real-world applications. I worked with this organization and helped it grow, with the help of my fellow peers of course, from 7 volunteers all the up to 60 committed volunteers coming back every week to the local elementary schools and after school programs. This is a total of 60+ elementary school students being exposed to the stem field every semester! I have just ended my term as President but excited to see the wonderful ideas the new executive board has in store. Aside from Stem Outreach I am currently a visitor guide at the Indiana University Visitor Information Center, I have been working in the office since my sophomore year welcoming all prospective students and visitors to the city of Bloomington and IU and help them navigate around the town and tell them why IU is truly a place to call home for all who wish to come here. I also give tours to both prospective students and higher administrators/executive officials. This past semester, I gave a tour to a group of 50 Chinese Ambassadors, and it was probably one of the coolest tours I have ever given. Lastly, I work with an organization of Pre-Medical students, called Phi Delta Epsilon ,as the Vice President of Finance. I helped the organization grow financially and also have been able to work with a very supportive group of Pre-Medical students since my sophomore year as well.

What is your motto you live life by?
Mind Over Matter - every single obstacle I have faced in life and or struggle, this quote resonances with me quite well. When times get hard and you fall down, it is very important to get right back up, and to never let that bring you down. Whatever comes your way in life, your mind is powerful tool that can help you overcome any matter.


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Natalie Ferguson What is your role in the Little 500 this year?
This year I am a Little 500 rider for my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta.

What aspect of the Little 500 is your favorite or holds the most meaning for you?
The community that is formed within the riders is one of my favorite aspects of the race so far. This is my first year participating in Little 500, and the amount of support that everyone gives eachother is amazing.

What inspired you to race/volunteer for the Little 500?
I was inspired to race in Little 500 because one of my best friends participated last year and had an amazing experience. Another reason I decided to ride is because I grew up playing sports. After coming to college, I wanted that competition again and I realized biking would be the perfect challenge. The main reason that I decided to be a rider is to be a part of the Indiana University tradition that is Little 500.


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Abel Barrera Duran What is your role in the Little 500 this year?
This year, I am a member of the Little 500 Riders Council as the co-chair of Alumni Affairs Committee. Riders Council is the overarching executive body of the Little 500 community that implements and coordinates the needs and wishes of the race director. We help run “Rookie Week” which is two weeks of teaching incoming Little 500 racers what is required to know about riding their bike and Little 500 specific skills one would need to know: like jumping on/off the bike or doing an exchange.

I am also the team captain of my team “Delta Chi Cycling.” This year we are hoping for our best finish in recent years. In coordination with alumni of the cycling team, we help to lead Delta Chi Cycling back where it belongs: on the Little 500 podium. Whilst we are the winning-most fraternity team on campus, we haven’t delivered a win since 1993.

What aspect of the Little 500 is your favorite or holds the most meaning for you?
The answer to this question is two-tailed. As a general rider, as I believe many other riders would share, there is nothing quite like the Little 500 community and how welcoming it is. All riders treat each other with respect regardless of independent, residence hall, or greek affiliation. This aspect holds the most meaning to me because in times of misfortunate, the very same Little 500 community has picked me back up; people that aren’t even teammates of mine, male and female, look out for me and how I am doing. It’s a selfless community.

My favorite memory of Little 500 will have to have been my second set on the bike in my first Little 500. As I went to get a gap on the field in order to buy the teammate I was going to exchange to some time, I looked back and saw how much of an opening I had created. It was then that I felt that I was good enough to belong on the track on that day.

What inspired you to race/volunteer for the Little 500?
After my plans of trying to walk onto IU’s tennis team didn’t work out, I quickly decided to join a fraternity. But once a part, I felt that that level of competitiveness in athletics was missing. In addition, I was quickly finding out that I didn’t quite fancy many of the committees and leadership opportunities within the house. Joining the house’s bike team just felt like the obvious choice. Through time discovering the history of Delta Chi Cycling and the amazing individuals who surrounded and supported the bike team, my goal as an individual became to help support the movement they stood for of returning the team to its former glory. Driven to be remembered, the idea of potentially being one of if not the pivotal individual to set my team in the right direction before my graduation in the spring of 2018, was something very enticing to me. Not only for the legacy, but for the obviously difficult path that lay ahead of me, I was very motivated to impose myself in the Little 500.


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Elly Rutkowski What is your role in the Little 500 this year?
I am a rider for Alpha Delta Pi. I have been training with the team on the road and on the track and hope to race in the Little 500.

What aspect of the Little 500 is your favorite or holds the most meaning for you?
As a first year rider, I have enjoyed immersing myself in a new sport and learning about cycling and have been able to see lots of improvement with my endurance and times. I also love being apart of my team! We stayed in Bloomington over spring break and pushed together through low temperatures and unideal track conditions, but we still made it fun.

What inspired you to race/volunteer for the Little 500?
I saw the race my freshman year and I really missed competing. The time commitment of being involved with the bike team was daunting, but it has been so worth it!