2022 Focus Award Recipient - Student

Kanika Garg

Kanika Garg, a student in the College of Health and Human Sciences (“HHS”) and UGA writing lab tutor, has demonstrated qualities and engaged in activities that promote awareness and diversity all around campus.

In her first year at Purdue, while working for the Exponent, one of her articles highlighted the challenges students face when waiting for counseling and psychological therapy. While working in the Purdue Writing Lab, Garg presented at a national writing lab conference where she discussed the role of individuals with disabilities in the writing center.  She identified a need for addressing mental disabilities in the lab and offered innovative solutions to addressing the challenges.  This included suggestions for asynchronous tutoring, utilizing adjustable ergonomic furniture, and allowing tutees to disclose their disabilities to tutors to better adapt to writing sessions. She is currently working within a student team to edit their handbook for multilingual students in the lab to better adjust to Purdue, which addresses stress and mental health struggles that they may face as multilingual writers.

Garg also fosters disability accessibility through an international non-profit organization called “Cittalayam” (meaning “mind-abode”). Prevailing high suicide rates prompted Garg to found the organization to create mental health awareness among students in India.  Garg has recruited Purdue students from all disciplines to brainstorm, develop, and implement ideas stemming from the impact of mental illness disability.

Garg also served as an Undergrad Research Experience and Community Experiences Program (“REACH”) scholar through the college of HHS. She collaborated in a group and completed several service-learning projects focused on mental health issues on campus through event-tabling and programming, which led to winning a service-learning grant from Purdue.