This is the seventh in a series of profiles of this year’s graduating class.
Doreen Aboagye describes her first visit to the Lehman campus four years ago as love at first sight. She came on a day in spring when the flowers were in full bloom, and the vibe at the College was electric with student activity. As a recent immigrant from Ghana, Aboagye was looking for a place where she could transition into a new culture and advance her academic career. She found that and more at Lehman.
When Aboagye enrolled at Lehman in fall 2008, she intended to major in biology and prepare for a career as a physician, but a chemistry class with Professor Andrei Jitianu changed that. With his encouragement, she applied to the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program and upon acceptance embarked on a research project in chemistry. Soon, she was combining her love for biology with chemistry, ultimately pursuing a degree in biochemistry.
Her work in the classroom and in the lab led her to a study-abroad program at KTH University in Stockholm in summer 2010. There she did research on cloning and transformation of some therapeutic proteins. She also had a chance to travel through Europe, which led to several networking opportunities.
“I received a well-rounded education,” explains Aboagye. She says she feels she received support from faculty, staff, and students. “Everyone wants the best for you, and they go above and beyond to motivate you and push you to achieve your dreams. I never felt like I was alone in this journey, and that felt really great,” says Aboagye.
At Lehman, Aboagye excelled in her studies and was inducted into both Golden Key and Sigma Xi. In 2010, she received a nomination from the American Chemical Society in organic chemistry and placed second in the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation undergraduate poster presentation, as well as at another undergraduate research presentation at William Paterson University. In addition, she received the Arthur Sweeny Scholarship in 2011 and 2012.
When she wasn’t in class or in the lab, Aboagye volunteered her time at St. Luke’s Hospital and mentoring pre-med students at Lehman. Her plans for the future include obtaining an M.D./Ph.D. and helping sick people. “The biggest part of my dream is to be an inspiration to all, mostly minorities. I want to continue providing mentorship to minorities and to use my life as an example for them,” says Aboagye.