BOWIE, MD (WMAR) — Bowie State University was the first Historically Black College built in Maryland and it's one of the ten oldest in the country. With such a rich history, Bowie is now looking ahead and leading a charge to bridge the gap in many areas, but specifically the sciences where minorities are currently under represented.
Dr. Tyesha Burks joined the staff in 2016 and quickly saw how the university was making strides to set itself apart.
"I think the first thing Bowie did was recruit young African American women in science that have different fields of research and that way we're able to reach the students. Most of our students come in wanting to go to medical school. So this shows them that you can stay in science and do something other than become a medical doctor." said Dr. Burks
Dr. Burks is studying skeletal muscle aging and is trying to discover a molecule that could slow down the process of our muscles getting smaller and weaker. While she's excited to have a great facility that allows her to continue her research, she's even more excited that her students get to be involved in the research process.
Laureen Daniels is a graduating senior at Bowie State and says she has seen big changes over her time at Bowie State University.
"Students are more eager to be in this building and more eager to learn in this building. We have the new technologies, we have better spaces and more space, we have better labs, students wanting to learn and actually excited to come to class." said Daniels.
Bowie State University is preparing the next generation of scientist and Doctors all while maintaining traditions and building a village of support for their students.
"I just love Bowie State. I love the atmosphere, I really really like the faculty. I’m so appreciative of the faculty and how much they help me learn and grow." said Daniels.
After graduation, she wants to further her education and ultimately obtain a PHD in molecular and microbiology. Daniels credits the mentorship of Dr. Burks and other professors for setting her on a path she hadn't dreamed of when she entered Bowie State. Along with earning a doctorate degree, Daniels also wants to make sure she gives back.
"I really want to do a mentoring program with other students who are African American from like middle school to high school who want to be scientist or doctors. And I just want to be a well rounded role model for young students. " said Daniels
Onyinye Ihearahu graduated from Bowie State University in 2018 and is undecided about which graduate program she wants to enter. So while she figures that out, she has decided to continue the research she began at Bowie and give back to the community that gave so much to her.
"I loved the atmosphere, everyone treated me like family, and helped me grow into the person that I really wanted to be. Before I came to this university I was an extreme introvert, so becoming involved in research and some of the extra curriculars helped me really come out of my shell. I'm currently working with Dr. Ude as a research assistant as well as his lab assistant, being involved in lab and running some of the labs is helping me to narrow down what I really want to do for my grad degree" said Ihearaeq.
Having been around for more than 150 years, Bowie State University prides itself on being a school where students can find their passion and build their future.
"I think that education at the under graduate level is very comparable to most universities but its the caring faculty that we have here that sets us apart, I come back to tell students that if I can, so can you. And if you follow my example or let me help you, we’ll all get there." said Dr Burks .
For more information on Bowie State University and what they have to offer, click