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June 7, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Isioma Nwadozi has wanted to enter the medical profession since an illness he had in the eighth grade. This fall, the recent Northwest graduate will pursue his dream by attending medical school at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences St. Kitts.
Challenges are nothing new to Nwadozi, who tackled many at Northwest. He not only had to face the challenges of college life, he had to make the transition from his culture to America.
Nwadozi was born in the Republic of Benin located in West Africa. His family later moved to Cuba, where he spent most of his childhood. While Nwadozi was living in Cuba, he heard about Northwest from a family friend who was attending the University. After hearing her talk about the benefits of attending Northwest, Nwadozi decided to enroll.
He majored in pre-professional zoology after conferring with one of his three advisors, Angela Bickford, Dr. Phillip Lucido and Dr. Peter Adam. He also minored in Spanish and biochemistry, graduating with his bachelor's degree in May.
"I was always transitioning to Northwest and the American way of things," Nwadozi said. "The culture is so dynamic and involves so many people of differing beliefs and backgrounds that I couldn't settle down and say that I had it all figured out. I learned from everybody I encountered. Whether I agreed or disagreed with certain view points or ways of reasoning, I still learned from people and did some teaching of my own, especially when it came to understanding my own culture and beliefs."
As an international student at Northwest, Nwadozi didn't face his challenges alone and was involved in several organizations. Nwadozi was a BRIDGE for residential life, president of the Minority Men's Organization and a member of Beta Beta Beta Biological Society . Nwadozi also participated in the Northwest Ambassadors program.
Jeremy Waldeier, Northwest's associate director of admissions, said Nwadozi was focused, hardworking and involved. He encouraged Nwadozi to blog about his experiences.
Nwadozi also gained valuable advice from friends, advisors and professional colleagues while he participated in these organizations.
"I have very much enjoyed my time as a student at Northwest," Nwadozi said. "What caught my eye at first was how friendly and supportive the school and the local residents were. I credit the IIC (Intercultural and International Center ) and its staff for helping to make my transition to the American culture as smooth as possible, and then also being there all through my college career."
The University of Medicine and Health Sciences St. Kitts , which is located on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts, provides a challenging medical school curriculum. Only those with strong academic performance, test- taking abilities and motivation are accepted, according to the school's admissions office.
Nwadozi continues to set goals and is working toward his dream of practicing medicine in the United States.
"I plan on bringing my own brand of charisma to my practice, reaching future clients beyond their physical need," Nwadozi said. "I would like to either start or collaborate with an organization that focuses on serving their local community and all of its residents, but also one that branches out into the world, in areas where there is also need."
Nwadozi said he will have fond memories of Northwest and the great teaching he received.
"I would absolutely recommend Northwest to others because of the fact that there are people that are genuinely interested in helping out students with their total well-being: academic, social, mental," Nwadozi said. "In addition, the academic quality of Northwest requires that students take initiative in their learning experience and this will ensure that a student grows and can think critically for themselves and become leaders."
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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