Preetha Basaviah ’91 MD’95 has earned several awards for teaching, mentoring, and scholarship in medical education, including Educator of the Year from the Society of General Internal Medicine. As clinical professor of medicine and assistant dean of pre-clerkship education at Stanford University, there is no doubt she walks the walk when it comes to inspiring the next generation. For Basaviah and her husband, Venky Ganesan, a managing partner at Menlo Ventures, education is a family value—and it inspired their most recent gifts to the BrownTogether campaign.
“Partnering with students on their unique journeys to reach their goals, personally and professionally, brings great satisfaction,” says Basaviah. “Balancing rigor, wellness, and service to others is complex in medicine, and mentors in my career have helped me create networks and stretch beyond my comfort zone.”
With a nod to Basaviah’s undergraduate degree, the couple have made a commitment to establish the Basaviah/Ganesan Family Assistant Professorship in Biology to support a faculty member conducting biological research while mentoring undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Part of Basaviah’s inspiration in supporting this professorship was due to the invaluable support and mentorship she received from leadership and faculty at Brown.
Basaviah and Ganesan have also committed to establish the Basaviah/Ganesan Family Medical Student Research Fund to help the Medical School meet an ever-growing number of requests from students who want to engage in experiential learning. “Early, immersive experiences in medical careers provide potentially transformative opportunities,” says Basaviah. “Being able to present, publish, and network amongst leaders in a field opens new doors and potentially makes dreams a reality.” She also notes that medical research opportunities are increasingly specialized and competitive to obtain, so having resources available is crucial. “Lifelong learning is the goal to meet one’s intellectual curiosity, and funds like this can hopefully pave the journey to move ahead,” she says.
Another value that guides the Basaviah/Ganesan family is giving back, and it is rooted in gratitude. The third component of their gift, a commitment to The Brown Promise, reflects their professional journeys. “Venky and I were fortunate to receive scholarships early in our educational paths,” says Basaviah. “These gifts gave us access to opportunities which we otherwise would not have been able to pursue. We are grateful for the generosity of those donors and feel so lucky to be able to support future generations.”