November 10, 2017
Our eighth featured Ambassador of the week is Tsungai Jackson.
Tsungai is a first-year Biochemistry student working on a minor in Microbiology. She picked Biochemistry because she believed it to be a challenge worth taking on and because it fitted her academic interests; “A good combination of Biology and Chemistry”. Also Biochemistry covers the requirements for Physician Assistant Programs (PA), which in one of Tsungai’s future goals.
Tsungai applied to be part of the STEM program because she believed it would aid her journey through college and propel her stem oriented career. “STEM AP serves as a support system and helps me find internships and other opportunities in science”. Her favorite part of the program is its diverse group of students and its open door policy that she deems welcoming and accepting.
Prior to attending PA school, Tsungai plans on graduating with her present major and minor and a certificate in Biotechnology. She also plans on getting her masters after graduating. She also went as far as setting up a Plan B for herself in case PA school would not be an option, where she plans on working for a biotechnology company such as Genzyme and Biogen.
Over the course of the summer, Tsungai participated in the CURE (Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences) program at Dana-Farber/ Harvard Cancer Center; a program that introduces scientifically curious high school and college students from groups currently underrepresented in the sciences to the world of cancer research. She was placed in the laboratory of Surgical and Metabolic Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and presented her final research project on “Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) Surgery Mediates Metabolic and Immune Changes in Obese Rats”. This was all prior to her even attending college.
Tsungai recently presented the poster for this research at the Global Health Challenges event that STEM AP hosted with the UMass Institution for Global health. Among those she presented to was Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, the President and CEO of the PAHO Foundation. Dr. Robinson was very impressed by Tsungai’s poise and knowledge. She showed great interest in Tsungai’s future endeavours saying, “You’re going to rock the world!” We certainly agree.
Besides her excellence in the sciences and her commitment to our program, Tsungai is part of the Black Student Union (BSU) and Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA) on campus. She also participates in African dance and hopes to take part in many more extracurricular activities throughout her time at UMass.