Health science major Kimberley Owusu shines at SBU
Kimberley Owusu knew when applying to Stony Brook that she wanted to pursue a major in health science and was impressed by Stony Brook’s national and international reputation. Now a senior, Owusu has excelled both inside and outside of the classroom during her time at Stony Brook.
That successful resume recently earned Owusu a spot in a video profiling “real New Yorkers and their stories that show that the future of New York is bright,” shown during Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Address on January 9.
In the video, Owusu describes why she chose Stony Brook, and the pride she feels as a Stony Brook student.
“I’m a student in New York because I know I can get a world class affordable higher education. I have a sense of pride and excitement knowing that I attend the school that leads the way in research and innovation is what I like to call my flex to my friends and family who know about the great things happening at Stony Brook, and I get to say to them, yes, I get to go there,” said Owusu in the video.
A team from the governor’s office came to the campus to video Owusu in various spaces, and her message supports the governor’s initiatives to increase access to higher education in New York as part of her “Our New York, Our Future” agenda.
Owusu was nominated for the video by Kerri Mahoney, director of the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO), where Owusu serves as a peer education specialist. In her role, Owusu assists in planning professional development events for the team of CPO interns and aids in recruiting interns for the office.
“After the call went out looking for a student from New York that represented and embodied what it means to be a SUNY student, but even more so a Stony Brook student, I immediately thought of Kimberley,” said Mahoney. “She takes pride in her work, acts with patience and kindness, motivates others to strive for better and serves as a role model to her peers.”
Owusu became involved with the CPO office as an intern during her junior year, and the experience has helped to solidify her plans to pursue a master’s degree in healthcare administration and to work in healthcare following her graduation.
“Where I live upstate in the Corning Elmira area, it’s very hard to get a lot of healthcare experience that’s not clinical, especially important for someone who wants to go on to healthcare administration,” Owusu said. “I love being on campus reaching out to students and I like to be involved. As part of the internship in CPO, we got to curate projects on our own. That helped me decide that I wanted to go into healthcare administration and work in community health and outreach.”
Owusu also serves on the Black Student Union and is a student assistant in the Stony Brook Office of the President, where she helps to field incoming phone calls and assist with office projects. Some of her favorite campus activities are the galas and fashion shows organized by the African Student Union committee.
She cited Maria Nagan, professor of practice in the Department of Chemistry, as the faculty member who most influenced her time at Stony Brook. Owusu’s first year courses were entirely online during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet Nagan made sure that she connected to her students through virtual chats and office hours.
“It’s really inspiring to see the work that she is doing in her lab as a woman in STEM, and she’s also very approachable. We will talk about our families, and she really wanted to know me as a person,” said Owusu.
While Owusu was anxious about living on campus sophomore year after her first year was spent living at home with online courses due to COVID-19, becoming involved on campus helped her find a close group of friends. She advises students who are new to Stony Brook to get involved and get involved early on.
“One thing I regret is not getting involved more or sooner in clubs or even events to meet new people,” she said. “That’s how you become more involved in the community at Stony Brook. Also, go to professor office hours! Not only will you get the help you need to succeed, but you’ll build a personal relationship with your professor.”
— Beth Squire