Farida Kwaji, a biology major who came to UB in 2004, spent her first five years in Nigeria. Then her parents, both of whom are government workers, moved to the United States, where Kwaji lived until she was 10. Then she attended boarding schools in West Africa and Canada. By the time she arrived at UB, she was already a world traveler and well acquainted with diverse cultures and intermixed groups. Yet that is one of the “main things she loves about UB.”
Kwaji was an academic superstar. In the spring 2006 semester, Kwaji was a standout participant in the inaugural Honors Program course, “The Intellectual Cutting Edge.”
Kwaji found that working outside her major, taking courses in psychology, for example, to be a “profound supplement” to the biology curriculum. She was very confident about her chances of admission to medical school, and gave her biology professors—especially Professor Michael Autuori and Professor Spiros Katsifis—high marks in preparing biology students to face the rigors of the MCAT and medical school.
She says the most outstanding features of the school are the “diverse people who hold valuable and sometimes opposed opinions,the friendly and welcoming nature of the community, and the accessible faculty. “Everyone at UB is incredibly welcoming, and that is a very rare accomplishment,” she says.
Kwaji participated on the Step (dance) Team and was treasurer of Vibe, one of UB’s vital international student clubs. Vibe’s focus, says Kwaji, was to acquaint students with off-campus events, so that students have a well-rounded experience at the University.