Integrated Studies Student Varun Parakala

Meet Varun Parakala

Integrated Studies, 2025


“I love how many peer mentors I have that help me, and I like having the support to get me through my classes,” said Varun. “Integrated Studies has allowed me to make new friends.”

In GMercyU’s Integrated Studies program, Varun has found new independence, made new friends, and has explored his interest in cybersecurity in multiple ways – through coursework, an on-campus internship, and by participating in the University Research Conference.

“I love how many peer mentors I have that help me, and I like having the support to get me through my classes,” said Varun. “Integrated Studies has allowed me to make new friends.”

Varun attends classes in GMercyU’s Computer Information Science program and produced a poster (see photo) for the University Research Conference on the 2020 major cyberhack of the American company SolarWinds and its repercussions. 

“I was kind of surprised that so many organizations were impacted [by the hack], I did not realize big companies would be affected that much,” Varun said. “People should take cybersecurity seriously because there is so much information stored in the worldwide web. People should make sure to use complex passwords and keep private information secure.”

For his internship, Varun works with Director of User Services Jeremy Weir and supports projects within the Information Technology Services office, such as updating and “reimaging” computers (installing new operating systems on them) and maintaining paper levels in printers. “I learned how important it was to keep systems updated,” Varun said. 

After GMercyU, Varun plans to put those skills to use to pursue a career in IT/cybersecurity.

For now, he’s enjoying his time here. “I love how small GMercyU is because it lets me be independent. I also like how small the classes are.”

This fall, Varun and an advisor will launch a new Billiards Club. 

“I enjoy playing billiards, and I think it would be a fun club to have on campus,” Varun said. “I enjoy connecting with others and hope to find new friends. Billiards Club will happen at the pool table in Rotelle Lounge next fall!”

Learn more about GMercyU’s Integrated Studies program