Jaldhi Patel

School: College of Science and Technology 
Degree: BS, biology, 2020
Hometown: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India  

Diversity was a major factor in the decision of Jaldhi Patel, CST ’20, to attend Temple. The range of experiences and opportunities she had during her undergraduate work helped deepen her empathy and understanding of others; critical to her work as a cancer research coordinator in the healthcare industry every day.

Checking her pulse

When Patel moved to Pennsylvania at age 13, she was delighted by the multicultural community she found. When it came time to think about college, she knew she needed a place with that same diversity—and the sense of acceptance that comes with being part of a large international student community.

Temple, one of the most diverse schools in Philadelphia, was a natural choice. Plus, she heard nothing but glowing reviews of the school’s science program. Patel applied and got into a handful of other schools, but as soon as she heard back from Temple, it was an immediate “yes.”

Following her passion

One day during Patel’s sophomore year, she opened an email from Rose McGinnis, director of student professional development and data science programs in the College of Science and Technology (CST), who regularly sent out lists of job and internship opportunities to CST students. This led to Patel’s first volunteer research position at Penn Medicine.

There, Patel assisted with research into cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), an emergency procedure designed to keep blood flow active in someone who is unresponsive and not breathing.

Soon she began volunteering with the Mobile CPR Project, an initiative intended to increase the survival rate from cardiac arrest in underserved neighborhoods.

As part of that effort, Patel traveled to churches, schools and sports stadiums to teach community members the life-saving technique, training 12,000 people in all and earning national media recognition. Her work exposed her to the challenges faced by those living in underresourced conditions and deepened her commitment to community service.

“The general population does not have the time, energy or money to get or keep current CPR certifications that expire every two to three years. They cost quite a bit of money—it’s just not readily available to all communities, but it’s especially difficult for those in who reside in low socioeconomic areas,” Patel said.

As soon as she graduated, Penn hired her as a clinical research assistant, all flowing from that one fateful email.

Jaldhi Patel poses for a photo in scrubs.
Jaldhi Patel smiling into the camera.

“Keep in touch with your alma mater because you never know what opportunities are going to come your way if you stay involved.”
–Jaldhi Patel
Clinical research coordinator

Finding the beat

Today, Patel is a clinical research coordinator at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. She credits her time at Temple with her ability to relate to cancer patients from all walks of life.

“If I had gone from high school to college and just did my classes, I would have been a completely different person,” Patel said. “Thanks to the opportunities and experiences I was afforded during my time at Temple when patients come in, I understand not only their disease, but also about their day-to-day challenges. I’m there for them as a provider, but also as a human.”