Recipient of the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award
Raised in a city in India, you imagined a rural experience in the United States might be a welcome change of pace for your college years. Fortunately for us, you decided on Dartmouth, though you had never seen Hanover before. When you arrived in the United States, the incredibly warm welcome you received from the Dartmouth community proved critical in helping you feel at home.
You plunged into your studies, and were drawn to a major in engineering, with a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern studies. A standout intellectual memory was your engineering capstone experience, for which you designed a bridge for Dartmouth alumnus (and former trustee) Barry MacLean ’60 ’61Th on his Michigan property. You were amazed that undergraduates were being provided with this opportunity to test their skills in the outside world. Outside the classroom, you excelled at connecting student communities, whether through serving as president of the South Asian student group; playing the didgeridoo with the marching band; or leading the student chapter of the Dartmouth Society of Engineers (DSE). Being part of the DSE illustrated for you how alumni benefit from their engagement with each other, the institution, and current students.
After graduation, you explored the world of investment banking for a year at Citigroup, but soon returned to the Thayer School to earn a BE and MEM in engineering. Upon completion of those degrees, you pursued your interest in management consulting, first at the Exeter Group and, after earning your MBA at the University of Chicago, at A.T. Kearney. CVS then asked you to join them to focus on corporate strategy. You recently accepted a new position at the ecommerce company Wayfair in Boston, where you’ll likely receive a big Green welcome from the many Dartmouth alumni among your new colleagues.
Although your workday is all-consuming, you have carved out an incredible career volunteering for Dartmouth. You began as an alumni interviewer, and then were tapped to join the boards of the Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association (DAPAAA) and the Dartmouth Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni/ae Association (DGALA). You served two terms on the Alumni Council, representing DAPAAA and later the Dartmouth Club of Chicago. As chair of the Young Alumni Committee, you witnessed the depth to which alumni can contribute to the quality of the student experience. During your time on the Council, you’ve seen significant strides in improved communications to alumni, and have been pleased to see the new initiatives that have arisen during your tenure. Through your service on the Triangle House Gift Committee, you’ve helped bring the vision of the Triangle House to life for LGBTQ students. This effort by alumni to create an improved living learning experience has particular meaning for you.
The Thayer School has also been a focus of your considerable energies for nearly a decade. You thrive on your hours of conversations with Thayer alumni, talking about your shared past of classroom and project experiences while laying out exciting plans for the future. Drawing on your experience as an international student yourself has been key in your outreach to international alumni, and you’ve connected them with Dartmouth students seeking internships.
Amazingly, you still find the time to engage in your community by volunteering at the zoo, showing dogs, and mentoring a middle school robotics team.
Shounak, your remarkable ability to bring alumni of all backgrounds together, along with your infectious sense of joy and dedication to Dartmouth, are incredible gifts to your alma mater. In deep appreciation, the College honors you with the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.