Amazing Students

Chimezie Osondu

Chimezie Osondu. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

Chimezie Osondu is on a solid road to his dentistry career, and he wants to make sure his UGA education will “ultimately improve the road for future students to be successful.”

McDonough, Georgia

High school: 
Luella High School

Current employment:
Desk assistant at Myers front desk

Expected graduation:
Spring 2020

Degree objective:
B.S.A. biological sciences

Other degrees:
Minor in Spanish

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I’ve had the opportunity to do and achieve a plethora of things during my time at the University of Georgia. My freshman year I knew I wanted to take advantage of every resource and open door that this institution had.

With that being said, I ran for Brumby Community Council and was able to obtain the role of secretary for the community. I also knew I wanted to be active in my community and had the opportunity to join the Freshman Advisory Board of BAC as well as serve as a Freshman Liaison of the UGA NAACP. I also knew I wanted to begin preparing for my future as a health care professional and so I co-founded the first chapter of HOSA-Future Health Professionals and served as co-president for three years, where I was able host programs and school events that were catered towards preparing students for health professional graduate programs. Alongside the rest of my executive board, we were able to put together a successful hurricane relief for Puerto Rico in which we were able to win a SOAR Award for Organizational Collaboration. I loved being able to cultivate and form a relationship with my community at the University of Georgia as well as building my leadership skills.

My sophomore year I served as a dance coordinator/choreographer of the UGA African Student Union where my team and I were able to put together successful dances for events such as Africa Night and the Annual Georgia African Association Dance Competition, where we placed first for two years in a row.

The summer after my sophomore year, I was accepted to a summer internship program at the University of Florida called Summer Health Professionals Education Program. This was a pivotal experience because I had the opportunity to gain clinical exposure for various fields of health-related professions and had the opportunity to shadow third- and fourth-year dental students during their clinicals. It was through this summer program that was able to solidify my career aspirations in dentistry. My third year, I was able to become an ambassador of the Georgia Recruitment Team where I was responsible for giving tours, serving on informational panels and hosting students throughout the day.

I think one of the craziest things I’ve done is randomly decide to volunteer abroad in Guatemala through an organization called UGA VIDA. This was another pivotal experience because it solidified the work I want to do in my future in dentistry, especially concerning improving health care and oral care in low-income communities.

I think one of the most important experiences I’ve had at this institution was being able to participate in my qualitative research study. I joined my research team during the spring semester of my sophomore year, and I am still active within the study today. The study deals with the persistence of black students in STEM and the different social capital and mechanisms that black students utilize in order to be successful within their STEM majors. This study means a lot to me because I’m able to relate to it on a personal level. I believe that through the data we’ve collected we will be able to ultimately improve the road for future black STEM students at UGA and other institutions.

I chose to attend UGA because …
… I knew I wouldn’t have an issue finding my community here at the University of Georgia. There are so many people here at this institution that have many different talents and abilities, and I was able to see myself in a lot of the students that were here. I knew I wouldn’t have an issue striving at this school.

My favorite things to do on campus are …
Walk through North Campus. North Campus is honestly one of the most beautiful parts of campus. Every time I walk through it I’m reminded about just how great our campus really is.

When I have free time, I like …
… to watch Netflix and catch up on all my shows. I make sure to always have a good meal while I’m watching my shows! I also like to release stress by finding a space that I can dance. Dance is such an important part of my life and it’s always been a way for me to clear my mind.

The craziest thing I’ve done is … 
… randomly decide to volunteer abroad in Guatemala. It was such a random decision and when I finally solidified that I was going, I was both surprised as well as proud due to my decision to step outside of my comfort zone and give myself the chance to experience such a unique opportunity.

My favorite place to study is … 
I’m very specific when it comes to where I study. Usually I study at my desk in my apartment. However, when I’m on campus, my favorite place to study is in a random classroom in MLC.

My favorite professor is … 
I’ve had so many great professors. If I had to choose my favorite it would have to be associate professor Chana Kai Lee. I took her class my first semester at UGA and it was “Introduction to African American Studies.” She did such a great job of making the concepts we were learning interesting and she made me seriously consider adding African American Studies as a minor. I would take her class 100 times again.

Chimezie Osondu. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with … 
… Jesus. I wholeheartedly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the grace that Jesus has shown me. I’ve been able to learn more about myself and my true identity through my faith. If I had the chance to share the afternoon with him, it would be an experience like no other.

If I knew I could not fail, I would …
… heal every disease in the world and free everyone in the world from pain.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to …
Travel all around the world and work in low income communities to teach about oral health and to ultimately improve healthcare in those areas.

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
My passion is to help those who aren’t given the same opportunity to be successful in today’s world, whether the barriers include systemic racism, lack of access to education or a lack of availability to certain opportunities and resources. I’m committed to pursuing this by making sure I use the education I’ve been able to receive from the University of Georgia and go into different communities to ultimately improve the road for future students to be successful.

After graduation, I plan to …
… attend the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and begin working toward attaining my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
… being able to participate in every Africa Night since my freshman year. There is just something about being able to get on stage and put together such a successful performance and event. This is an experience that I will always remember and cherish.