I graduated 2013 with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I'm currenlty working as a Middle School Science Teacher and Health Science Teacher with Baltimore County Public Schools.
What inspired you to pursue a degree in Science?
Man, this question always brings a smile to my face. Growing up I was always inquiring about the why and how. The little girl whose nana would dress her up so cute only to find her in the sand box 5 minutes later. In elementary school I collected rocks and classified them. I wasn’t afraid to touch bugs and collect pond water to find tadpoles. In middle school, one year for Christmas, I begged for a telescope so I could look at constellations and teach my grandmother what they were. I grew up with a grandmother with a sixth-grade education but, she allowed me to be who I am and explore the world around me. She pushed for education. I had a natural interest and love for science and knew that’s what I wanted to study.
Have you done any graduate or professional studies after Coppin?
Since leaving Coppin I have earned a Master's in Biotechnology from UMBC and a Master's in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership From UMBC. I will start a Master's to PhD program at the University of MD College Park with the intent to come back to teach at Coppin.
What are you doing now in your career?
Currently I’m a middle school science teacher and health science teacher with Baltimore County Public Schools. I work with Dr. Jiru who is the Cofounder and Co-Creator of the Coppin Mile Project and we earned the department a $10,000 grant. Take advantage of undergrad research with professors. Being at Coppin and doing research under the Nanotechnology Center has helped to build my resume and prepared me for the real world.
How has your education at Coppin Department of Natural Sciences prepared you for your career?
The Department of Natural Sciences speaks for itself. In order to earn your degree at that time, you had to pass an exit exam, write a thesis, and present your thesis. Compared to other PWIs, these are typically graduate level requirements for graduate level students. Coppin applied pressure and pressure makes diamonds. After leaving and entering the real world, I interviewed and got the job over top PWIs. Why? Because Coppin understands that you must be the best of the best and professors grants you opportunities to add on your resume and enrich you with skills that will surely set you a bar higher above the rest. Thus, truly living up to their model of nourishing potential and transforming lives.
What career advice can you give to someone pursuing a degree in the sciences?
- Follow your heart - I tacked on a whole extra year pursing nursing my freshman year because that’s what my grandmother wanted me to be. I hated it lol. Then I was able to sit my grandmother down and tell her I needed to pursue what makes me happy (which was science).
- Make an end goal - A degree in science is the foundation of so many disciplines walk in and soak in those robust courses but year 2 start figuring out what field are you interested in. A degree in science can land you in array of STEM fields. My classmates of gone in many inspiring directions.
- Take advantage of undergrad research with professors - Being at Coppin and doing research under the Nanotechnology Department really prepares you for the real world and builds your resume.
- Find study buddies - Organic 1&2 was the most challenging yet rewarding class. Dr. Sohbi is fantastic but he didn’t cut corners. Having my Anthony, Tameka, and Kyla was a blessing because we tutored each other and held weekly study groups.
- Communication is key - Talk to your professors. Let them know your goals. They have so many connections and do so much. You never know what opportunities are out there.
- Apply for scholarships - The disadvantage I had of being a first-generation college student was not knowing just how much free money was out there for minorities in STEM. So I took out loans. So, I encourage all other generations to seek out scholarships and grants to pay for undergrad and graduate degrees.
- Strive for a 3.3-4.0 GPA - Yes, C’s get degrees but if you plan on doing advanced studies you will need a competitive GPA.
- Know testing requirements of graduate degrees early - Start taking those tests in your junior or senior year so, you can have a smooth transition from undergrad to grad.
- It’s okay to fail or struggle - I bombed Anotomy & Physiology l| freshman year and struggled my whole way through physics l&l|. And it didn’t kill me. Although during that time it sure felt like it. I had to retake Anotomy & Physiology l| and the second time around, I passed. When times get rough remember you’re holding character and resiliency. This too shall pass.