Profiles of Excellence, in their own words...

Akia Scruggs

Posted: April 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »
Where are you from?
Columbus, Ohio
Where are you currently?
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
What year did you graduate?
2009
What was your major?
Chemistry:Pre-Med
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Not yet…a work in progress
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
I am a first-year PhD student at Louisiana State University in the Kinesiology Department
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a program that nurtures your educational development. It does not require anything from you that you would or should not otherwise expect from yourself. The program is what you make of it; you reap what you invest.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
DNIMAS also increased my mental and spiritual maturity, helped me learn more about myself and my intellectual capacity. I had to learn how to budget my funds to wash clothes, get groceries, etc. so that I can now handle living in graduate housing/an apartment. DNIMAS also gave me the opportunity to give back to my community through the mentorship/community service requirements.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
I tried to come into DNIMAS with an open mind and was willing to work hard. From that investment, I gained the following professionally: better networking skills, five internships in four years, how to present scientific posters, and how to present scientific research to a diverse audience.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I was a part of the Pre-med Society, Chemistry Club, American Chemical Society NSU student Affiliate chapter, and Beta Kappa Chi.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
I have a few. Ashley Davison screaming “DNIMAAAAAAA!!!” whenever she saw one of us DNIMIANS anywhere oncampus. The “D-Unit” and “UrpLaFamilia” that formed my freshman and sophomore year. My third favorite memory is learning calculus with Clifford Denize in Lee Smith’s lobby. Good times. He definitely helped me believe in myself mathematically; best guy friend ever.
My last great DNIMAS memory had to be freshman guys playing cards 24/7 in the lobby or 24-hour room.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
DNIMAS is a family for those who want it to be; not everyone wanted to be “family”. My class was very cliquey.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
First, I might have more loans. Second, I would not be the person I am today; I am a better version of myself.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes, I still talk to my bestie, Ms. Ariel James, and keep in contact with others via Facebook mostly.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Cherish all your time in DNIMAS. Go to all the study sessions and STARS; get all the tutoring you can get; ask the upperclassmen for advice. Sit in or at least close to the front of the class in every class; do not fall asleep in class. Give everyday your all and do not cheat on anything. If you do not take DNIMAS seriously, who will take you seriously….think about it. This is the best ticket; trust me. Everyone I know who were DNIMAS and did not make it regretted it; do not let that person be you.

Nanna Frimpong

Posted: September 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »
What is your name?
Nanna Frimpong
What year did you graduate?
2008
Where are you from?
Canfield, Ohio
What was your major?
Chemistry:Pre-Medicine
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidimiology
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Working at the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as The Women’s Collective, a non-profit HIV/AIDS organization in Washington D.C.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
It is a rigorous science, mathematics, and engineering program.  The program aims to prepare its students for graduate school and for the work force.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
After graduating from DNIMAS, I feel like I was able to accomplish anything.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
I met some great people that I still talk to and hang out with.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
STARS tutoring, DNIMAS Student Student Assosciation, hanging out with friends
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
The first APS session of my freshman year.  It was quite eventful. :-)
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
There were changes to the program every semester.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I don’t think I would’ve pushed myself as hard to be successful.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes.  I live with one of them, go to school with another, and hang out with a lot of others weekly.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Enjoy your time there.  No rent, free food, and less work than grad school.

Samelia Okpodu

Posted: September 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What year did you graduate?
2008
What was your major?
Optical Engineering
Where are you from?
Raleigh, North Carolina
Do you have any advanced degrees?
In progress :D
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
3rd year Neurophysiology doctoral student at Howard University in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. & an Intramural Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the National Eye Institute
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a scholarship program at Norfolk State University for students who are interested in the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The program does an excellent job of preparing its students for graduate school and/or professional school.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
I always knew I was going to graduate school, but DNIMAS definitely played a large role in preparing me to be a competitive candidate.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
I think the most valuable thing that  DNIMAS has given me is a network of people who have had such a profound impact on my life. From the faculty and staff that are associated with the program to the students, many of whom I am still learning from and growing with. DNIMAS offered me an unparalleled collegiate experience which i will forever be grateful for.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
Spartan Calvary, ACCESS tutorial service, National Society of Black Engineers, Beta Kappa Chi, Save the Bay
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
The first Applied Science Seminar (APS) of each year was always very eventful.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
All of the required paperwork. Although I understand its importance, it often times felt a little excessive.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
Some of my best friends are people I met in DNIMAS, so without this program my life would be void of the laughter and joy they bring as individuals.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes, of course
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Appreciate the opportunities that you are afforded and trust that the DNIMAS office has your best interest in mind.


Sharday Ewell

Posted: August 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Sharday teaching as a research student

What year did you graduate?
2007
What was your major?
Biology/Pre-Professional
Where are you from?
Triangle, Virginia
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Not yet
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
4th year PhD student in Neuroscience Graduate Program at The University of Alabama at Birmingham
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a scholarship program at Norfolk State University for students who are interested in the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The program prepares its students for graduate school and/or professional school.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
DNIMAS definitely put me on track to get into graduate school. The requirements set gave me a huge advantage when I was applying for school (not my words- I was told this by my interviewers and current graduate school program director.) Not only did I have research experience by virtue of the summer internships that we were required to do, I also had taken (and passed) classes that serve as a foundation for first year graduate studies. Also, I have no school
loans to pay back, making it much easier to focus on school!
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
One of the most important things that I got out of DNIMAS was the importance of giving back to and inspiring
others. So often I find that people tend to get caught up in what they are doing and achieving their goals that they forget to reach back and help others. Volunteer work is a huge component of my life because of DNIMAS. Even though that one hour volunteer work requirement each week was a pain (at the time), it showed me just how influential
I can be in one person’s life. During my time at UAB, I have initiated Brain Awareness Week activities as well as volunteer as Girl Scout troop leader-two things that I wouldn’t have even thought to do had it not been for DNIMAS.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
Spartan Calvary, was an ACCESS tutor, volunteered with local Girl Scout troop, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha
Sorority, Inc.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Studying (and socializing—a lot!) in the study room in Lee Smith during Junior year.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
There was a lot of variability in requirements/ expectations. I understand that changes were made to make the program a little more solid but the constant shift in requirements made it difficult for us to know what was
required or expected of us at times.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I think that without DNIMAS, I would have taken a different road professionally. I do not think that I would be in graduate school now had I not been in this program. On a non academic/professional level, I think that I would not push myself the way I do now had I not been in the program. Being in DNIMAS forced me out of my comfort zone and caused me to challenge myself.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
First and foremost, enjoy your time in undergrad because you will definitely miss it when it is over. Second, always
keep in mind that all the DNIMAS requirements are set in place for a reason. Once you graduate and go on to professional school or graduate school, you will see how a lot of those things are applicable to your life. So, it may suck to do a lot of these things now but you will be glad that you did them.