Claflin HBCU All-Star is serious about the sciences, Claflin, community service

By: AUDREY ANCHIRINAH
Sep 08, 2016
Portrait of Ifeanyi Uche
Ifeanyi Uche is a Claflin student who is from Nigeria.

A senior biology major at Claflin University has been named a 2016 HBCU All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

As a first-generation college student from Nigeria, Ifeanyi Uche has always aimed to do his best in order to support his family.

“My late father had always been a good motivator; he encouraged me in every little thing I did,”  Uche said. “He will always tell me that ‘son, big things come bit by bit and everything you regularly dream of and put much effort into it will surely come to pass.’”

After his father’s death, his family’s welfare fell on his shoulders. This personal experience was the start of his curiosity and the stepping stones to pursue a career in the biological sciences.

“I decided to come to Claflin because it had a good rating in my desired field of study with good professors and it (has) students from diverse background and nationalities,” Uche said. He was granted a full scholarship The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College in order to come to Claflin.

“Above all, I chose Claflin University because it promises to turn its students into world leaders,” Uche  said. “It took me a while to understand the American culture. Every now and then, I miss my native meals.”

Uche is an academic tutor in sciences and from his interactions with his fellow students, he realized there was a peculiar problem.

 “I always noticed that before the end of semester or academic year, some students who have declared their majors in science always end up switching their majors to non-science majors,” Uche said.” I am not saying it’s a bad decision, but I want to help reduce that high attrition rate.”

He hopes to start a mentoring program designed to provide interactive learning opportunities to reduce this problem and also to get students actively involved in communities through community service.

He is a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and has many achievements to his name: community service chair of Claflin’s National Society of Black Engineers; recipient of several United Negro College Fund scholarships, and visiting research scholar at Yale School of Medicine this past summer.

He was excited when he received the call that named him as an HBCU All Star.

“As an HBCU All-Star, I must be a positive role model for other student on campus and our community. I have to empower them to be advocates for excellence and academic success,” Uche said.

“My advice to Claflin students, especially the incoming class, is that no major is less difficult than the other. It all depends on how bad you want to succeed. They should always respect and promote their unique selves and work hard as everyone else,” Uche said.

He plans to enroll in an MD/PhD program to become a physician scientist after graduation.

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