Loyola University Chicago

The President’s Medallion

Devan D. Patel

Devan D. Patel

Devan Patel is determined to help others. While in school he volunteered at a local hospice, where he provided peace and comfort to patients in their final days. He also participated in the research behind a hand hygiene device designed to prevent infections in hospitals.

But it’s in the classroom that Patel has really left his mark. An aspiring doctor, he is on track to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in Health Systems Management with a near-perfect 3.99 GPA.

Here, he talks about his spiritual mentor, his plans for the future, and why all students should venture outside their comfort zone.

What’s your favorite Loyola memory?

I have a lot of great memories from Loyola, but I would say my favorite was during my junior year when I went to the Hindu Student Organization’s Hindu Awareness Week dinner. Before attending the event, I was stressed out from finals and my upcoming MCAT exam. But after I went to the dinner and saw all of my friends, I felt a rush of positivity and support. Seeing everyone was refreshing and really reinvigorated me.

Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, my guru or spiritual mentor, has truly inspired my life. At the age of 92, he continues to oversee social and spiritual programs for humanity across the world. He’s committed his life to steadfast morals and values, an undying love of service to others, and a constant pursuit of excellence in all aspects of his life. It’s these core traits that continue to motivate me in becoming a better overall person.

Tell us about your volunteer/service work and what it means to you.

One of my most meaningful service activities is my hospice volunteering, where I had the opportunity to serve elderly patients in their final days. Every time I went to volunteer, I came back more joyous and felt that I truly made a lasting impact on someone else’s life. I also learned to value time and family much more, as I realized how incredibly important those two aspects of life were to my patients.

Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their education?

I think the best thing to do is always challenge yourself. Take difficult classes or unique ones out of your major, pursue work-study and internship opportunities, or volunteer for a cause you are passionate about—really anything that places you out of your comfort zone. I honestly believe by continuously challenging myself, it has made all the difference in getting the most of out my education.  

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I want to be a physician. I’m leaning towards specializing in emergency medicine, but I’ll make a final decision during medical school. In addition, I hope to work on healthcare innovations, similar to my research work at SwipeSense, that improve our overall healthcare system in terms of quality and cost-efficiency.

What’s your favorite study space on campus?

Without a doubt, the third floor of the Information Commons. It’s really quiet and has a great view of the lake. It’s the perfect study spot.

What will you miss most about Loyola?

I’ll miss the sense of community and friends I have found at Loyola. It’s an irreplaceable and unforgettable part of my undergraduate experience. I have made many lifelong friends, met unique people from completely different backgrounds, and so many have really inspired me to become the person I am today.