Akash Khanna awarded William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion

Akash Khanna, BS’19, didn’t start his college career focused on civic engagement. He was a biology major, focused solely on being a good student. But during a field day his freshman year, the team captain for his group happened to also be a leader for Jagathon: IUPUI’s Dance Marathon for Riley Children’s Hospital. That introduction changed everything.

Akash became involved in Jagathon and took a leadership position in marketing. He enjoyed it, and after some consideration, he changed his major to marketing at the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

“The big change was a challenge but worth it,” he said.

He stayed involved in Jagathon throughout his college career. For Jagathon 2019, Akash served as the vice president of external relations. He oversaw the directors of campus outreach, community engagement, high school dance marathons, marketing, and public relations. The Jagathon 2019 campaign was Power of Purpose, which allowed the participants, committee, and supporters to reflect on why they joined this movement, and why they rise up for the kids. A moment that stands out to Akash is the candlelight ceremony.

"It is a very powerful and moving portion of the night where we all have a moment of silence, remembering the kids who did not survive their fight," he reflected.

“We remember why we need to increase the number of miracles we make every year. Candles are lit and we are surrounded by darkness, so people have the opportunity to reflect on the reason for the gathering,” he shared in a recent blog for the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

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