Vainavi Gambhir is an undergraduate student and Banneker/Key scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an advocate for youth holistic health and has pursued this through a diverse range of experiences including Ayurveda therapy, leading yoga classes for pediatric patients, developing educational materials for the National Cancer Institute, oncology research with Fulbright Canada, and legislative advocacy.
Vainavi's journey with the University System of Maryland began as both a 2022 Student Regent Finalist and Director of Student Affairs for the USMSC, later elected as the Vice President for Undergraduate Affairs. During her time as Vice President, she helped launch initiatives such as the inaugural USM Board of Regents Student Excellence Awards and is currently planning for a USM forum event to empower innovative student perspectives across the system.
Vainavi is excited and grateful to serve as the President for the USMSC. She looks forward to collaborating on unprecedented initiatives and solutions, keeping the needs of over 162,000 students at the forefront.
Arsalan Siddiqui is an undergraduate student studying bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and is a Science Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Fellow there. With a strong passion for research and innovation, Arsalan was selected for the First-Year-Innovation and Research Experience program where he worked on cutting-edge research alongside UMD's research faculty. Specifically, his research lab dealt with using synthetic DNA and RNA to serve as aptamers and bind to biomarkers in cancer cells that would help with an early cancer diagnosis.
Arsalan also has experience working at the National Institute of Health where he is currently interning as fellow in the Pediatric Oncology Branch. Arsalan is also the Chair of his city's Youth Advisory Council where he was appointed by the City Council to advise them on issues impacting youth and families such as: child human trafficking, crime prevention among youth, and youth engagement. There, he was successfully able to lower the municipal voting age from 18 to 16. He also worked in the Maryland General Assembly for the House Majority Leader, Delegate Keith Haynes, as a legislative assistant and has worked on several pieces of legislation dealing from the Maryland budget to juvenile justice reform.
In his previous role at the USMSC, Arsalan served as the Co-Director of Government Relations, advocating for over 170,000 students to the Maryland General Assembly and to the Executive Branch of Maryland. He helped coordinate a continuous System-wide advocacy campaign focusing on higher education funding, renewable energy policy, civic engagement, and affordability. Arsalan is honored and excited to serve as the Vice President of Undergraduate Affairs for the USMSC. He is focused on making sure that issues of tuition affordability, campus hunger, and mental health services are raised and that needs and concerns of the USMSC students are brought to the table.