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Commencement speaker urges peers to seize opportunity

by Anita Smith, communications and marketing last modified Dec 18, 2013 10:44 AM

Graduate student Sadiatu Musah found her home at UofL and the School of Public Heath and Information Sciences.

Commencement speaker urges peers to seize opportunity

Sadiatu Musah

Within the Environment and Occupational Sciences program, she researched the intricacies of lung damage due to chemical elements.

Even though Musah logged many hours in the lab, she still found time to be a leader and mentor to several of her fellow peers.

An avid basketball fan, the graduate rarely missed a home basketball game.

Musah has been selected as this semester’s outstanding graduate.  She will speak during the 7 p.m. Dec. 19 commencement ceremony at the KFC Yum! Center.

UofL Today caught up with Musah to talk about why she chose UofL, her research and what's next in her life.

Why did you choose UofL?

My academic goal was to continue my graduate studies in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health. The School of Public Health’s program in Environmental and Occupational Health was just the perfect fit.

Tell us a little about the activities you were involved with while on campus.

I was a graduate research assistant and my research involved repair of the lung after chemical injury. My research also included investigating mechanisms by which particulates in air pollution cause adverse effects on the lungs. I also had the opportunity to mentor new students assigned to work in my mentor's lab. I was responsible for teaching and supervising these students in biological techniques that were employed by our lab.

What did you gain from all of those experiences?

I have acquired skills that have not only equipped me to work as a research scientist, but have also afforded me leadership abilities. My experience has also contributed to developing my social skills through presenting my research at conferences and interacting with others in my research field.

What's led to your success?

I would say my faith, hard work, and perseverance. There have been times during this journey when I have felt like throwing in the towel. I’m glad that I always found the strength to forge ahead. That, I believe, has gotten me this far.

What’s been your favorite experience at UofL?

I’m a huge basketball fan and the Cardinals winning the NCAA championship crowned it all for me.

What’s next for you?

My next step is to start off my career as a research scientist. I don’t know exactly where yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

What will you tell your peers during your commencement speech?

I’m still working on my speech but I would share with my fellow graduating students about the need to strive further to achieve more than we think ourselves capable of by moving beyond our comfort zone to take advantage of every opportunity in order to attain our full potential.

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