Amazing Students Profiles

Mary Gassama

Mary Gassama

Mary Bintou Gassama is a great researcher. She is a former CURO apprentice who is now doing research with Dr. Ray Kaplan in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a senior microbiology major who plans to go to medical school. She is also considering a Ph.D. While an apprentice, she worked with James Bason in the UGA Survey Research Center on a study about student attitudes concerning abortion and has worked with Stephen Shellman in the international affairs department on Project Civil Strife. She was president of Students for Global Health, a UGA student organization that works to raise awareness about global health. She was also inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society. After graduation, she wants to take some time off before attending medical school.


Marietta/Powder Springs, Ga.

High School:

Joseph Wheeler High School

Degree objective:

B.S. in microbiology and a Certificate in Global Studies

Expected graduation:

Fall 2008

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

One of the best things I did as a UGA student was participate in the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities during my freshman and sophomore year. While with CURO, I was able to research student opinion on abortion with Jim Bason in the Survey Research Center. Also, I was able to participate in Project Civil Strife with Stephen Shellman in the international affairs department. During my junior year, I investigated hookworm population genetics with Ray Kaplan in the College of Veterinary Medicine. I presented all three research results at the annual CURO student symposia. During summer 2006, as a rising junior, I attended the Summer Medical & Dental Education Program (SMDEP) where I shadowed doctors and attended seminars pertaining to medical school. Most recently, I spent the summer at the Medical College of Georgia at the Summer Educational Enrichment Program. I am a member of the Honors Program and a recipient of the HOPE Scholarship. I am a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Golden Key honor societies.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…I wanted to stay in Georgia. UGA seemed by far the best deal for me. The variety of majors that are offered here attracted me the most to UGA. Before enrolling at UGA, I did not visit the campus, but I was very pleased when I got here. The atmosphere and the campus itself are really nice.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…going to activities like Dawgs After Dark and other campus events. When I have time, I like going to Ramsey to work out. One semester when I had time, I joined a Japanese martial arts class, and I really enjoyed that.

When I have free time, I like…

…to talk on the phone with family and friends. I really enjoying talking on the phone with friends. It de-stresses me. I enjoy watching old popular TV shows and movies. Also, I like going to stores in downtown Athens and surfing the Internet. I like eating out at places like Thai Café and The Grill.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

….come to UGA without knowing much about the school. Everyday, I thank goodness that UGA is UGA because I could have ended up somewhere that I did not like. So I consider myself lucky that I ended up at UGA.

My favorite place to study is…

…is the SLC reading room. Since I need absolute peace and quiet when I study, the reading room is perfect. It is very convenient since there are computers, wireless Internet and coffee downstairs at Jittery Joe’s. Other places where I like to study are the main library and the Myers study rooms.

My favorite professor is…

I have two favorite teachers. First is Dr. Osman, a professor in the International Affairs Department. His classes are absolutely never boring. His classes involve a lot of discussions where students share their opinion. I felt that I learned a lot and enjoyed myself in his class. My other favorite is Dr. Follett. Dr. Follett did the impossible: he made me enjoy a history class. I have always disliked my history classes, but somehow Dr. Follett changed all that. His passion for history was hard to ignore, which made me re-think the way I saw history.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…my late grandmother. I did not see her for years and her death was such a surprise, so if i could share an afternoon with anyone, it would be with her.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…go to Africa and start a revolution there. The revolution would involve a change in the health care system, education system, society and politics on the continent. I’m very passionate about Africa and hope that in my lifetime things will change there for the better.

After graduation, I plan to…

…take a year off and do something interesting! I’m not completely sure what I want to do. I could spend the year traveling to Africa and Europe to visit family or I could stay here and work. Whichever route I choose, after that year, I would like to attend medical school.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…when Godfrey, the comedian, came to perform at UGA a few semesters ago. He was hilarious from start to finish!!! I still remember and laugh at some of the jokes he told. I took a picture with him to remember the night. I had a great time.