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MU grad student remembered for her lively nature, hard work

Friday, August 3, 2012 | 6:13 p.m. CDT; updated 6:35 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 10, 2012

COLUMBIA — MU graduate student Aditi Avhad will be remembered for her hard work and joyous nature. She was simultaneously diligent and exuberant, like when she sang as she prepared meals, said her roommate, Shraddha Sankhe.

Even as she grieved, Sankhe said she couldn't help but smile as she remembered small moments with Ms. Avhad.

Ms. Avhad was killed Thursday night when the Megabus she was riding in crashed into a bridge support pillar in Litchfield, Ill. She was 25.

Ms. Avhad was born in India on Jan. 2, 1987. There, she attended grade school at St. Mary's Convent in Uttar Pradesh before going on to Kelkar Education Trust's Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College. She then earned her bachelor's degree in dental surgery at Nair Hospital Dental College in Mumbai.

According to a news release, Ms. Avhad became an international student at MU after she was admitted to the health administration graduate program last fall. She maintained a 4.0 GPA and was on track to complete her master's degree next year.

While at school, Ms. Avhad worked at the MedZou clinic as a compliance officer. Her job was to make sure volunteers acted in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, rules. 

When she assumed the post in January, the clinic's director of volunteer services, Ryan Neff, was impressed by the number of detailed questions she asked. Neff said it it assured him that she would put all her effort into her work.

“She was very detailed-orientated, timely and punctual about everything she was doing,” Neff said. He continued that Ms. Avhad's initiative made his job easier.

Her friends lauded her for her ability to work hard and maintain her high grades. Although she already had the clinical training, Ms. Avhad came to MU to get administrative training, Sankhe said. She was a dentist in India.

“Her passion was teeth," Sankhe said. "She used to make everyone smile."

In addition to dentistry, Ms. Avhad loved to watch Bollywood movies. Sankhe said her friends often teased her for her love of old Bollywood songs.

But for all the light-hearted teasing, Ms. Avhad had grown to be something of a sister to Sankhe.

"I'm going to miss her," Sankhe said.

Supervising editor is Hannah Cushman.


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