Recruitment Spotlight: Sadiya Ahmad
What are you studying and
what is your background? Why are you passionate about it?
I graduated from the University of Texas Pan American in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. I joined Teach For America and was a high school science teacher in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Currently, I am at University of Houston completing a thesis project on cardiovascular research with the department of pharmacology and pharmaceutics. I love teaching and science fascinates me. I decided to go to graduate school to pursue a career in academia, melding my passion for teaching and scientific curiosity.
Why are you interested in coming to UT Health Science Center?
The curriculum is unique compared to other schools. The integrated and multidisciplinary program allows graduate students a range of opportunities and flexibility within the curriculum and research.
What are you looking for in a graduate school?
I was a teacher for two years after college, so I haven’t been a student for some time. I was looking for a curriculum that would review the basic sciences and further specialize in the second semester according to my track. Also, I have not been able to explore as much as I would like to in terms of research. Therefore, I was looking for a school with a range of research labs that I would be able to choose from after completing my lab rotations.
What did you think of recruitment?
The theme was “have fun.” Simple. I had a great time learning more about the program with the faculty and speaking with graduate students.
What was your favorite part?
One of the best parts was socializing with the faculty at dinner after a day of interviews. It was fun and reassuring to speak in an informal environment with people you could potentially be working with.
What do you wish you could have seen more of?
I don’t think there is anything I wish I could have seen more of. We were able to interview with faulty in their offices and take a tour of a lab within our chosen departments.
Also, I am a Texan and have been to San Antonio many times therefore I did not feel like I personally needed to see more of the city.
Were you able to connect with the other students/faculty/the UT community?
The night before our interviews, we had dinner at Dr. David Weiss home. It was a warm and welcoming experience. We were also able to speak with graduate students over lunch and meet with department chairs at dinner.
What were some of the factors that interested you to this program?
This school offers an integrated curriculum that allows one to be able to explore and have a broad learning experience. There also many different types of projects to choose from in terms of research and the faculty seemed very inviting and graduate student friendly. Also, I think San Antonio would be a great place to live!