What makes you a Difference Maker?
I am a difference maker because I am dedicated to encouraging and helping others achieve their goals and I am passionate about the things that I do. Since 2014, I have been conducting research to identify potential targets that may reduce the virulence in Candida albicans. Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen and infection in immuno-compromised individuals may be fatal. Even with the arsenal of antifungal medications, strains are growing resistant. For this specific reason, my research is important because it may contribute to the development of new treatments for fatal infections by Candida albicans.
I play a part in helping students achieve their academic goals through supplemental instruction, tutoring, and positive support. I help guide students to success by helping them isolate their problems and develop good studying habits. In addition, I motivate students by encouraging them and by setting a positive example by approaching my work with a positive attitude and with diligence.
I am proud to say that I will be graduating May 2016 with high distinction, university honors, and CASL honors. During my time at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, I have been on the Dean’s list for consecutive semesters and received scholarships based on merit throughout my undergraduate career. During 2015, I was selected for an undergraduate research fellowship and I have had the privilege in presenting my research at the school’s natural sciences poster session and at the 13th ASM Conference for Candida and Candidiasis in Seattle, Washington. After two years of hard work and dedication, I will soon be published as the first author for the research I have been working on.
I have been an orientation leader for two years (2013 and 2014) and I have been a supplemental instruction (SI) leader since 2014. I have done SI for the classes: Natural Sciences 120, Natural Sciences 121, Biology 130, Biochemistry 470, and Biochemistry 471. In addition, I have been the lead researcher on the research project I worked on since 2014.
What is your Dream Career?
My lifelong dream is to get my MD/PhD. I would like to get my MD in cardiology and my PhD in pharmaceutical sciences. After I receive these degrees, I would very much like to open up a few clinics with at least one of the clinics being nonprofit because I know that not every person or family have the financial needs to see a specialized doctor. When I do become established, I want to be able to provide care to as many patients as possible. In addition, I would love to do research and also teach while being a doctor.
What was your most Defining Moment at UM-Dearborn?
During my first year as an orientation leader back in 2013, I remembered that there was a student who was very stressed out because she said she just did not get math and she thought because of this, she will never be able to get into dental school. At that moment, I told her, the only person who can decide whether you can do something or not, is you. I told her that I believed in her and I knew that if she believed in herself too, she could accomplish anything. During the fall semester, she found me and said, “Thank you so much for believing in me and for telling me that I had what it takes, it is because of you that I got into the dental program at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor." I think the saying, “words can either build you up or tear you down” could not be more true. A few words of encouragement goes a long way.