Akshay Sawhney

2013 - Cornell Tata Scholarship

Akshay, from DPS RK Puram, made it into Cornell College of Arts and
Sciences, with the Cornell-Tata Scholarship. Akshay has not only been a brilliant student,
academically but also excels in Music and Games.

Akshay Sawhney says: I was introduced to Mrs. Patnaik 4 years ago when she took charge of my class as the English teacher. We were all taken by surprise by her unusual methods of teaching, and the way she conducted the classes. But it is now that I realize their efficacy. It was under her tutelage tutelage that I developed a great interest in literature and was able to hone my written and verbal communication skills. What she did was not to merely assist us in passing our examinations or routinely scrape through the curriculum, but to cultivate in us a strong sense of the subject and a keen insight into its nuances, the grammar and its intricacies- skills that helped me 3 years later when I found myself in a shortage of time to prepare for my SAT. It turns out, that even with little formal preparation; I was able to attain a score of 2320.
Even after 4 years, her assistance continued to pour in. It was late in the 12th standard that I developed an interest to apply to the universities in the US. When the school counselor turned me down due to my apparent lack of preparation and dearth of time, Mrs. Patnaik, with her knowledge of the technicalities of the admission procedure and her first-hand experience of the logistics, came to my rescue. By virtue of her knowing lots of students in the universities itself, whatever queries we had about the process were immediately resolved. Being a school teacher herself, she helped me balance my time juggling between the applications and my studies. I saved on a lot of time as she took the responsibility to review my essays and write a letter of recommendation for me, as result of which I could apply to more universities than I had originally planned to. It was only her encouragement and support that helped me navigate through that grind, way past the eleventh hour.
Thus, with her eruditeness and English skills, in coalition with her capable experience, she played an invaluable role in spurring me to use my abilities to the full and helping me to realize my dreams. With an open mind and an excellent knowledge of the subject, Mrs. Patnaik is undoubtedly one of the best teachers I’ve ever met.
Akshay Sawhney 
Cornell University, Class of 2017

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