rele knightMajor: (M) Genetics, (m) Evolutionary Anthropology, (Cert.) Computational Genetics

Graduation Year: 2019

How did you decide on your major?

Biology is truly a beautiful field. It can inform us about so many things about ourselves. The most astounding of is are these two questions: where did we come from, and where are we going? My intrigue at these two wonderous questions had only one logical point to start investigating – Genetics. The power and beauty of genetic models and their implications are important in not only knowing where we have come from (something I hope to look into further), but can also answer where our species is going.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I entered the department for my love for genetics; the people are the reason I stayed. The people – it’s always the people, it should always be the people. No matter how much we struggled, there was always someone we could go to for help, and being the approachable and highly talented individuals we have in the department (both faculty and students), I never felt the need for outside counsel.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

Favorite class, definitely GA384 and GA385 so far, but I still have to take Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics, so, will see. It really pains me to choose a single professor in the department as all of them are exceptional in their own ways, but since you’re asking, it’s Dr. Axelrod; his detail-oriented nature is truly one-of-a-kind.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I teach at the Office of Diversity and Academic Success In the Sciences, and I have to say that has been the most pleasurable academic experience I have had at Rutgers. It has opened up new possibilities of interaction and also shown me different ways students learn, before which, I was unaware of the diversity in learning styles and my inability to accommodate them in a classroom. With this, I can safely say that I am prepared to teach at an academic level now.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

Other than teaching at ODASIS, I have been a Rutgers Global volunteer for 3 years. We welcome about two thousand new international students every year. We coordinate their orientation week as well as their legal paperwork. Apart from Rutgers Global, I have also played for the Rutgers Table Tennis Association in the national tournaments.

What are your plans following graduation?

I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Genetics. With this, I hope to be able to answer questions pertaining to the evolution of our own species.

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