Raj Basak ’15 (City) | Macaulay Honors College

“The best part of my Macaulay experience has been interacting with a truly remarkable group of students who are incredibly intelligent, passionate and well rounded.”

Raj Basak speaks five languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and the universal language of music. “Academically, I am most proud of co-authoring two peer-reviewed scientific articles as an undergraduate,” he says. “Outside of academics, I am very proud of founding the Macaulay Triplets and making it a self-sustaining musical ensemble.”

Born in Kolkata, India, Raj spent his childhood in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. While he is a physics major, he chose to study photography in Italy as a study abroad option through the Macaulay Opportunities Fund and to volunteer on a sustainable farm in Oregon. The Horace W. Goldsmith Scholar is also a pianist and vocalist in the Macaulay Musicians’ Collective, a jazz-pop ensemble. This creative side fits squarely with Raj. As a high school senior, he performed at the International Fringe Theater Festival in Scotland.

Both of Raj’s parents are physicians and while at Macaulay, Raj worked at the Columbia Medical Center in an Immunobiology Lab where he studied malarial drug resistance. To further his studies, he also interned in a Biochemistry lab at Brown University for a summer. At City College of New York, he was awarded the Ward Medal in Physics. While he immersed himself in science, as a Hertog Scholar, Raj also dove deep into classical works of literature and explored critical questions related to culture, politics, and society.

Yet, as Raj says, “although I have thoroughly enjoyed all my classes, research and New York City, the best part of my Macaulay experience has been interacting with a truly remarkable group of students who are incredibly intelligent, passionate and well rounded.” He adds, “getting to know these students and developing lasting friendships with them has been a gift.”

Photo of Raj Basak