Medical student Lekha Devara believes in taking steps — including dancing steps — to share her culture and to make UofL more inclusive.

Devara, of Louisville, spent much of her undergraduate career as an executive member of the Indian Student Association (ISA) on campus. She served as freshman outreach officer, public relations officer and competition director for the student-organized group.

The group shares India’s cultural beauty through a variety of events and programs, including close affiliations with The Cardinal Bhangra dance group. Bhangra is a traditional Indian dance that combines Punjabi folk music with modern pop.

Once a Cardinal Bhangra dancer herself, Devara hung up her dancing shoes after graduating as a Brown Fellow in 2019 with a biology major and Spanish minor. Now in medical school, she stays connected as an adviser for the annual dance competition Derby City Dhoom, which will next take place Feb. 29, 2020. Her passions remain sharing her culture and promoting inclusiveness on campus.

“I think the biggest purpose [of ISA] is just trying to make the community more aware of the diversity that’s available at UofL,” Devara said. “We want to showcase our culture as Indian-American students and how we navigate the different backgrounds that we all share.”

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