MACON – Mercer University Class of 2020 graduate Tara Chavda was recently named one of 25 recipients of this year’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award.
The annual award is presented to exceptional leaders among the thousands of graduating seniors who have participated in the Miracle Network Dance Marathon at approximately 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada. Dance Marathon annually raises funds for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Chavda is the first Mercer student to receive this award and the only student in Georgia selected for 2020.
“Thankful is an understatement. My experiences over the past four years – and the support and love from my advisers and peers – have shaped me into the leader I am today,” said Chavda. “I love everything about this organization and University, and being named one of the 25 Distinguished Leaders for 2020 feels like a dream. I would like to thank my family, friends and Mercer faculty and advisers for all of their love and support over the years. I owe it all to you.”
Chavda, from Alpharetta, earned her Bachelor of Science in Engineering in May. She participated in MU Miracle, Mercer’s chapter of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, all four years of her undergraduate career and personally raised $2,602.66 for the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital in Macon.
As this year’s executive director, Chavda coordinated MU Miracle’s virtual Bearthon on April 18, which raised a total of $68,237.76 for the local children’s hospital.
In addition to her work with MU Miracle, Chavda served as founder, president and director of mentorship for the Biomedical Engineering Society, community service chair, a panhellenic delegate and honor chairman for Phi Mu Fraternity, as well as public relations chair and dancer for Rangreli Bollywood fusion dance team.
She has participated in Go Baby Go, the Engineering Honors Program, Mercer On Mission Vietnam and conducted research on virtual reality medical surgery programs. She has worked for Bear Force, the gameday event team and as a student-athlete study hall monitor, participated in Mercer Prosthetics and Orthotics Club, Mercer Masala, Phi Eta Sigma honor society and volunteered with the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital and the Computer Museum of America.
Chavda was named MU Miracle Rookie of the Year in 2017 and a Top Five Student Government Association Student of the Year in 2019-2020. She also received the BEAR Award for Outstanding Leadership at the Campus Life Awards in April.
She plans to complete her master’s degree in computer engineering in May 2021 as part of the School of Engineering’s 4+1 Master of Science in Engineering program. Upon graduation, she intends to further her education to support her ultimate goal of becoming CEO of a children’s hospital.