Let Us Introduce You: Nipun Gupta

Minghao+Gao%2F+Senior+Staff+Photographer
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Back to Article

Let Us Introduce You: Nipun Gupta

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

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Nipun Gupta has spent the past four years performing an admirable balancing act. Gupta, a senior Philosophy, International Studies and Pre-Medicine student, pulls triple-duty as a student, Atlas Week Co-Chair of Programming, and as one of the founders of Saint Louis University’s Interfaith Alliance.

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Gupta made her way to SLU from O’ Fallon, Ill. after becoming familiar with the University through her sister, a SLU alumna. She credits the extracurricular opportunities and the Jesuit mission as a driving force in her decision.

“One of the biggest draws is that it’s a Jesuit University. I’m not Christian. I’m Hindu, actually, but the values that are supported by the Jesuit tradition were really appealing to me,” Gupta said. “It’s definitely been a good fit in terms of all the service and social justice work that goes on here on campus. I feel the students and campus have a really great sense of how we can use our own lives to better the lives of others.”

Gupta has always been drawn to understanding religions and the beliefs of others. As a student at O’ Fallon High School, she helped create an interfaith study group. She said that discussing the subject of faith with her friends of various beliefs was one of the things that spurred her to create the group. Gupta said that misconceptions and stereotypes that permeate certain faiths also encouraged her friends and herself to start the study group.

“We thought it would be a really constructive way to increase our own knowledge about other traditions and help others dispel those misconceptions and stereotypes,” Gupta said.

Her freshman year at SLU, Gupta followed a similar pattern. With a group of friends on campus, they began the Interfaith Alliance, a group dedicated to increasing understanding of various faith traditions through dialogue and community service.

“I happened to have a diverse group of faith backgrounds among my friends and we thought it would be a great group to have here at SLU,” Gupta said. “Now, four years later, it’s grown immensely beyond what we expected and it is growing strong.”

Gupta’s curiosity towards faith traditions and service-oriented nature played a role when she selected her majors at SLU. Her desire for an academic challenge while helping others led her to Pre-Medicine, while her interest in the philosophy of religion and cultures led her to Philosophy and International Studies.

“It’s a really hands-on way to improve others’ lives and its very tangible and concrete way to help others and improve their livelihood,” Gupta said.

Gupta admits that balancing a demanding course load while remaining active on campus has been a challenge.

“There were a lot of late nights and all-nighters, and a lot of help from my friends especially. They’re the only way I could have gotten through, with their help and support,” Gupta said.

After she graduates in the spring, Gupta plans on attending medical school, but remains unsure on where she will attend. Although undecided on the type of medicine she would like to practice, Gupta said she has considered pediatrics but “it will depend on what I like in medical school when I get real exposure to the clinical aspects.”

Although on the verge of medical school, Gupta still remembers her childhood dream of being an astronaut.

“It would be really cool, but not a dream job in a lot of other ways…like being in space for five years at a time,” Gupta said.