Major: Biological Sciences
How did you decide on your major?
I have always been fascinated with the nature of life. Going to zoos as a child and reading encyclopedias showed me a vast diversity and unity of life on earth. In high school, my biology teacher helped me better express this fascination and supported my pursuit of higher education by allowing me to place in AP Biology a year early. It was through this education that I better understood rules dictating genetics, diversity, and (of most interest to me) evolution. From then, I pursued different biology majors at Rutgers, including genetics and cell biology, before settling on Biological Sciences.
What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?
The Department of Biological Sciences at Rutgers has always been a great help for me when deciding on my goals and future. The large scope of biology, as opposed to the various other specializations of genetics or cell biology or ecology and evolution, helped me to expand the breadth of my knowledge and focus on the connections between them rather than pursue specifics within them. It’s this web of information relating to different subjects that helped me diversify my abilities as a student and human being.
Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?
One of my favorite experiences was taking the Evolution of Animal Behavior course with Drs. Suzanne and Michael Sukhdeo. The information and presentations in class revealed connections between behavior and physiology that I had not before considered, and Dr. Suzanne Sukhdeo was a wonderful advisor for me while pursuing my application to the Graduate School of Education.
What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?
In the Fall of my Sophomore Year, I was in an honors seminar on 21st Century Science Fiction. Many interesting pieces of media were explored in that course, including a novel by Octavia Butler and a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. I learned to appreciate the importance of media and media studies and enjoyed being exposed to novels and short stories I would have otherwise overlooked.
What are your other Rutgers activities?
I am currently the president of Fusion, which is the Rutgers Association of Mixed Students. We have fortnightly discussions relating to the experience of being of mixed race in the modern world, as a population increasing in number and finding surprising solidarity. As known to any biology major, race is not a biological actuality, but it is a persistent social one, and therefore discussions about pride in blending the boundaries between races and the conversations we have as transcendental people bring great pride to me. I am also involved with Rutgers Q&A and have made many dear friends through it and other student organizations.
What are your plans following graduation?
I am currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Education, specializing in secondary biology education. I have a lot of teaching experience through internships and volunteer work, and therefore pursuing a career in education seemed like a logical next step. After completing my certification, I hope to teach High School Biology and prepare the next generation of biology enthusiasts.