Posed photo of sisters Amulya, Alekhya and Ananya Vadlakonda together

It runs in the family: The Vadlakonda sisters and their CWRU legacy

Case Western Reserve University has a history of families with multiple graduates, most often from different generations. It’s unusual, however, when three siblings attend the university around the same time—and choose the same major. 

Meet the Vadlakonda sisters from Saratoga, California—Amulya, Ananya and Alekhya. They all chose CWRU for their undergraduate studies—and they all chose to study biology with plans to attend medical school.

The common thread? They all drew inspiration from their mother, who’s been practicing as an invasive cardiologist for the past 20 years. According to Amulya, the eldest of the trio, their mother is very attuned to her patients and cares deeply about each one, a model the sisters were drawn to replicate as they pondered their own career plans. 

“She brought us into her world—it’s what we knew and what we heard about growing up,” Amulya explained. “She loves what she does and, through her compassion and empathy, she influenced each of us, sparking our interest in medicine.”

Amulya graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree, and will begin a new adventure later this month at the University of Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. During her time at Case Western Reserve, she served on CWRU Emergency Medical Service (CWRU EMS)—a student-run organization that provides emergency medical assistance to the university community—for four years, eventually becoming chief in 2020. 

Photo of Uma Vadlakonda in scrubs
Uma Vadlakonda, Amulya, Alekhya and Ananya’s mom

In this role and in her work as a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT) in the state of Ohio, Amulya gained real-world experiences in the medical field, most notably relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Learning how to perform our duties suited up with PPE (personal protective equipment) and working in such uncertain circumstances during COVID-19 was very challenging—but so rewarding,” she noted. 

Amulya’s passion for emergency medical services is what influenced her younger sister, Ananya, to become an EMT in her first year at CWRU as well. Ananya, the middle child of the Vadlakonda family, is a rising second-year majoring in biology.

“I didn’t always know I wanted a future in health care,” Ananya said. “In just my first year, I was going on emergency calls and shadowing in the emergency room. I wouldn’t trade those clinical experiences for the world.”

The youngest of the sisters, Alekhya, is coming to CWRU this fall as a first-year undergraduate student and, following in her sisters’ footsteps, also plans to major in biology. While she’s leaning towards premed, she’s open to other options and will use her time to solidify her path.

While Alekhya has yet to begin her CWRU journey, she bears witness to the wide range of opportunities her sisters have had. The oldest of the siblings, Amulya, said her time at CWRU was not only filled with unique experiences, but supportive faculty and peers who had her success top of mind. 

“I don’t think I would be attending medical school if it wasn’t for my time as an undergraduate at CWRU,” Amulya added.