As their first daughter Tanveen was attending high school in White Plains, New York, Drs. Manjeet and Gurjeet Dhallu saw signs that she would one day follow in the family footsteps and enter the medical field.
“While she was in the 11th grade, Tanveen became involved in a science research program through her school,” recalls Manjeet, a neurologist in the Bronx who works with stroke patients. “She chose to study whether inhaling lavender essential oil before medical procedures would have a calming effect on patients. She loved the work, and ended up getting a regional prize for her research and going on to compete at the state level. She decided then that medical school was the right choice for her.”
As a family, the Dhallus debated whether she should begin with just an undergraduate degree, or find a combination program that offered Tanveen even better benefits.
“When we started looking into the CUNY system, we found an incredible Coordinated B.A.-M.D. Program in which she could earn her undergraduate degree in three years from Brooklyn College and then enter SUNY Downstate College of Medicine for her graduate studies,” explains Gurjeet, a child psychiatrist in private practice who is originally from California, where Tanveen was born. “This meant that Tanveen wouldn’t have to take the time and expense to apply to medical school, which was a huge plus.”
Tanveen was not only accepted into the select program, but she was also invited to become a part of Macaulay Honors College. When the family went to orientation at the College, Manjeet and Gurjeet were exceptionally pleased to find a supportive community of their own.
“Instead of only having students as guides during orientation day, Macaulay had fellow parents as guides as well,” recalls Manjeet. “They answered our questions, gave us their personal email addresses, and helped allay any concerns we had, because they had been in our shoes before. The whole orientation was very impressive and made it easier to choose Macaulay and CUNY. It’s like a family here, and we could feel that.”
The Dhallus remain happy with Tanveen’s choice to attend to CUNY—and it seems that soon she may not be the only family member at Macaulay: Her younger sister, a senior in high school, is also eyeing the College as she sees how much her sister is flourishing.