Amol Yadav hopes to bring a unique international perspective and a wealth of different campus experiences to the table as a graduate Young Trustee.

Yadav is a sixth-year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and current president of the Graduate Professional Student Council. From India, Yadav attended the University of Mumbai for his undergraduate studies, and has already completed a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Duke. In a time when Duke has an increasingly global presence, he believes that his international background can provide significant value to the Board of Trustees.

“Duke is going global in the Fall of 2014 with a campus in Kunshan, and as an international student, my perspective will be crucial for the Board as it wants to go create a global brand,” he said.

The election will take place on Feb. 18. Only members of GPSC vote on the position.

As graduate Young Trustee, Yadav wants to help make Duke need-blind for international graduate students. Only six universities in the United States are need-blind for this group, and he hopes to make Duke the seventh.

For his Ph.D., Yadav focuses on treating neurological disorders through spinal cord stimulation. As a graduate Young Trustee, he would try to apply these academic interests to the needs of the Duke student body.

“I’m inspired to become a neuroscientist, so one of my focuses is to advocate for mental health and improved mental health resources for students,” Yadav said. “I want to help build a better support system for students.”

He believes that his wide range of experiences in student activities, research and work life have given him a good pulse of the student body and would allow him to effectively represent a wide-ranging group of people. Some of the other organizations and activities he has been involved with include: the Outing Club, the student-run production Awaaz and the Undergraduate Faith Council.

“I have had really diverse work experiences in my six years at Duke, and I think those will really help me represent the entire graduate body,” he said.

Jacqueline Looney, senior associate dean for graduate programs and associate vice provost for academic diversity, has worked with Yadav in his role as GPSC president and said she is impressed with his leadership skills and insight. She believes that all the candidates are extremely qualified—and Yadav is far from an exception.

“With the excellent pool of candidates for graduate Young Trustee, the students simply cannot make a bad decision,” she wrote in an email Wednesday. “As the current GPSC president, Amol has continued to help the University recognize the invaluable resources graduate and professional students bring to our academic community.”

Thais Vinholo, a research assistant and self-described Yadav's mentee, also believes that Yadav would be an effective contributor to the Board of Trustees. In an email on Wednesday, Vinholo emphasized Yadav’s genuine care for helping others.

“[On one occasion], he invited all the janitors to go to the basketball game with his tickets,” Vinholo said. “He gives people opportunities they've never had before. For me, it is reassuring to imagine such a caring person within the Board of Trustees.”