A Glimpse of Graduation

Sabin Kshattry

Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry

Good morning, faculty members, parents, friends and my graduating peers!

The moment that we thought was so far away has finally arrived. Today marks the fruition of all the hard work that we put in as undergraduates. Today is our day. As we celebrate this success and get ready to turn to a new chapter in our lives, let us reminisce about the times we have had and the things we have learned at this great university. How did we get here? What experiences did we have? And what do we do from this point forward?

Profile Photo of Sabin Kshattry

To be honest, UT Dallas was not my first choice. But as fate would have it, I ended up coming to UT Dallas. So when I first started my college career here, I didn't know what to expect. I had all these questions: Am I going to have a true college experience in a university that largely had a reputation as a commuter school? Am I going to have the same career opportunities here as at a bigger school? Am I going to find the right group of friends?

Today, after almost four years, I can confidently answer all of those questions with a huge, resounding YES! In retrospect, my decision has been a blessing in disguise. UT Dallas’ small, closely knit environment and the tight relationships that it fosters are actually a better fit for me than being diluted in a large student body as I would have been at a bigger university. Close interactions with faculty members are another benefit. I have been a student researcher at Dr. (Dean) Sherry’s lab for about a year and a half now, and this was possible because at UT Dallas, faculty members are easily approachable, and they understand the importance of close faculty-student relationships.

“As we celebrate this success and get ready to turn a new chapter in our lives, let us reminisce about the times we have had and the things we have learned at this great university. How did we get here? What experiences did we have? And what do we do from this point forward?”

The people that I have met here and become friends with come from all walks of life. UTD might as well stand for the University of Texas for Diversity. The way UT Dallas’ atmosphere uniquely brings together different races, religions, nationalities and ideologies is truly beautiful. In a way, this environment is a microcosm of the increasingly globalizing world that we are all stepping foot into, and we should be thankful for already having been exposed to this environment and having the required skills to succeed in it.

Furthermore, UT Dallas has a special significance in my life. My dad graduated from UT Dallas in spring 2007 with a PhD in statistics. My brother graduated from UT Dallas in fall 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and is currently pursuing a master’s degree here. Today, I have become the third UT Dallas graduate in the family. Today, as I proudly don this graduation regalia adorned with bold green, magnificent orange and pristine white, I am not only representing the excellence that UT Dallas stands for, but I am also carrying on a proud family tradition.

No graduation speech is ever complete without giving due credit to our loved ones. Let us start with our parents and guardians who kept watch over us throughout this journey. We sometimes get annoyed by the fact that, every now and then, they seem to hover over our business, but that is simply because we fail to understand how much they love us, care for us and want us to do our very best. I thank my mom, my dad and my brother for never letting me settle for anything less than I deserve and showing me that love really is unconditional. I thank my friends for their unwavering support, in times when I needed a helping hand and in times when I needed a partner to do something stupid. I thank my mentors for setting a success benchmark for me to strive toward. Let us all take a moment to thank our loved ones; without their love and care we would not be where we are today.

Fellow graduates, as we pass this milestone in our lives and get ready to embark upon a new journey henceforth, I encourage all of you to aspire big, dream as high as the Orion. Nothing is impossible. Impossible itself spells out I-M-possible. Take our school for example. Any superlative cannot quite describe the phenomenal growth of UT Dallas in the past four decades from a tiny speck of a research institution – the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies – to the vibrant university that it is today. In fact, to be a part of the physical and academic transformation of UT Dallas in just these past four years has been an almost unbelievable experience, replete with new buildings, a revamped landscape and a bold, new attitude of asserting our presence into the rest of the academic world. This attitude is manifest in our goal of becoming a Tier One university, which will put us in prime spot to compete for federal research dollars and attract highly qualified students and faculty members. What might have seemed like a distant mirage to the University's founders has today transformed into reality. Impossible is indeed just a term.

Graduates, let each one of our goals be as bold as our alma mater’s goal of becoming a Tier One institution. Let us not acquiesce to the fear of coming up short, but rather fear – and actively take steps to avoid – the regret of never having tried. Let us all do great things and achieve great wonders. As Comets, let us illuminate this world with our bright futures.

I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors, and congratulations!

Sabin Kshattry graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He is a recipient of an Academic Excellence Scholarship and has been on the dean’s list several times.

While at UT Dallas, he was a member of the Collegium V Honors Program and Health Occupational Students of America. He is a member of Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi. He was a recipient of an Undergraduate Research Scholar Award and was a semi-finalist in the Frank and Sara McKnight poster contest organized by the UT Southwestern Department of Biochemistry.

He has worked with the Academic Bridge Program at UT Dallas as a math and science tutor, was involved in research at UT Southwestern through a Green Fellowship and received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship award through UT Dallas. Outside of classes, his soccer team twice won the University’s intramural soccer championship. After graduation, Sabin plans to pursue an MD/PhD degree.