Ashwanth Samuel, Virginia ’19, who graduated first in his class at Olathe Northwest High School, arrived at the University of Virginia (UVA) as a Jefferson Scholar, a highly selective, full-scholarship award program that brings some of the world’s most exceptional high school seniors to UVA. During his first year, he became a probational guide with the University Guide Service, a highly esteemed and competitive group of students who give tours to prospective students and members of the public year-round. In his second semester, he decided he wanted to pursue some independent research, and secured a generous award from the Center for Global Health that sent him to his parents’ native country, India. There, he and two teammates studied the effects of mobile banking on the traditional, male-dominated household structure in rural areas.
As an Echols Scholar, an award that allowed him more freedom to chart his own academic pursuits, Ashwanth racked up an impressive list of achievements during his four years at the University of Virginia. He earned a bachelor’s in statistics, with a minor in history, in three years, then returned to campus to pursue a master of science in data science. Ashwanth is also a classically trained violinist, was named the Ernest H. Ern Distinguished Student, Emerging Greek Leader of the Year, and was a member of the Dean’s List.
As mentioned by fellow Phis, Ashwanth single-handedly changed the face of both Greek life and Phi Delta Theta during his time at UVA. He was the youngest chapter president Virginia Beta had ever seen and went on to be IFC President during which he navigated a tumultuous time for fraternities at UVA. Upon graduating, he quickly climbed the ranks at the prestigious Bain and Company until recently, where he joined Protocol Labs, a cutting-edge startup.