Meet Harsh Patolia
How did Harsh Patolia decide on Wake Forest for college? “I decided to schedule an on-campus interview and a tour, both of which were splendid experiences. I later had the opportunity to stay at the campus for a weekend, and I met amazing people from all departments of the school. Professors even approached me and to talk about their departments. By then I knew I wanted to be Demon Deacon!”
In high school, you wrote a teen news column for the Roanoke Times. Tell us about that.
I wrote a weekly teen article called, “The Edge.” It featured a variety of information ranging from school news to trends in teen culture. I had the opportunity to write college profiles, cover the reorganization of school districts, research the political inclinations of high school students and interview some interesting teachers. As an aspiring writer, I believe the key to success for teenagers today is to read. Reading not only allows us to stay up-to-date on current events but also gives us the opportunity to learn many new things.
You are a talented musician. Which instrument is your favorite?
I love the piano! I have studied contemporary and classical piano for approximately 11 years, and it has been quite the adventure from Bach to Chopin. My piano studies have taught me the importance of practice. It is remarkable how simply allotting one hour of time to practice a day can drastically show improvement in a short period. Music has increased my aptitude in time management, a skill that I certainly will need in college.
As a film buff, what do you look for in a movie?
For me, the most important aspect to a movie is the screenplay and music. The screenplay will usually make or break my hopes for a film with regards to critique. The music is important because it builds the foundation of the film itself. Films are complete wild cards—some may seem bland but end up leaving an everlasting impact. If I could meet a film director, I would want to meet one of the Coen brothers who directed “No Country for Old Men” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” I want to understand the thought processes for their quirky films.
Tell us about your research through VA Governor’s School.
The Roanoke Valley Governor’s School of Science and Technology brings together students from several school districts around the Roanoke Valley, where they take intensive courses in mathematics and science. With a high degree of emphasis on investigative learning, students in the school are expected to undertake research projects every year through an assigned elective. During my junior year I researched the viability of an alternative and cost-effective treatment to Clostridium difficile infections via probiotics. My final year I worked with a partner in utilizing a Boe-Bot to undertake visual computation using Roborealm software and Playstation Eye camera hardware.
What are your favorite activities outside of academics?
Spending time with my friends, backpacking, listening to music, watching films, and volunteering at my local rescue squad as an EMT.
Can you imagine your Wake Forest graduation day?
It’s hard to imagine what I will be doing next week! However, on my graduation day I will be thinking of my future and what amazing things will be in store for me. By then, I hope to be a published researcher and be accepted to a post-graduate institution with a scholarship.