Student Spotlight: Shady Barsoom ’22

Shady Barsoom ‘22

What attracted you to Drew?

I loved the small and beautiful campus in the Forest. I also enjoyed the small class sizes so that I could get to know my professors better. Because my sister Randa (C’14) had also graduated from Drew, I was already familiar with the campus and knew about professors I currently have. I felt at home with Drew even before I set foot on campus and am glad to say that my time here has increased that feeling.

Why did you choose Neuroscience as a major?

Studying the brain is such a complex and beautiful field. I’ve always enjoyed learning about the intricate connections that essentially make us who we are. From the behavioral aspect to the microscope, studying how the brain works has fascinated me and showed me that there is much work to be done in understanding it.

Have you done any internships?

I participated in Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI) two summers ago and really enjoyed that experienc

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

I would love to give a shout-out to Psychology Professor Dr. Jill Cermele! She was my advisor for my first semester at Drew and she has always been there for a chat about school, careers, and Harry Potter. I am also very grateful for my research advisor, Dr. Roger Knowles. He is someone that I’ve known since I first started at Drew and has always given me great guidance about both Neuroscience and pursuing a career in medicine. Additionally, I would like to thank Chemistry Professor Dr. Adam Cassano for his belief in me! I remember the conversations we’ve had about success in biochemistry and I have always appreciated his support in my leadership abilities and plans to become a doctor.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

An issue that means the most to me is the unequal access to quality healthcare both around the world and within our country. It’s so common to see people facing the burden of medical expenses in the United States and to see many countries struggling with providing accessible medical treatment to their citizens. One of the many reasons I would love to be a doctor is to make that healthcare just a bit more accessible!

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

My favorite memories of Drew are in the lounge right outside Peet’s Coffee Shop in Brother’s College. Almost every morning, my friends and I would hang out in the lounge with our coffees, cracking jokes and commiserating about our upcoming exams. The tan chair beneath the portrait of one of the Baldwin brothers was unofficially known as “Shady’s chair,” to my friends, because I would always sit there in the morning, and was mildly irritated when it was taken. Needless to say, my friends enjoyed sitting in that chair if they arrived before me.

How has your identity within the Faith, Religion & Spirituality community played a role in your journey?

My faith is incredibly important to me and has shaped me into the person I am today. I can confidently say that God has helped me get through so much in my life and I see more of His love every single day. As I grow up, I learn more and more from Him, how to treat others with love and compassion, and to see the worth and beauty in every individual that I meet.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

While it’s important to plan for the future, don’t let yourself get so caught up with what’s coming next that you forget to enjoy the present moment. If you live life always waiting for the next step, you won’t be able to enjoy what’s right in front of you.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to become a doctor one day. In five years, I’d love to walk in my medical school graduation and receive my MD. A lot of specialties are appealing to me, so I am looking forward to where I will end up!

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

·       I play the violin, guitar, piano, and cello!

·       I can write equally well with both hands.

·       I speak Egyptian Arabic.

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