Goodnight Spotlight: Ravyn Njagu

Each month, the Goodnight Scholars Program highlights a select number of current Goodnight Scholars who represent the program’s highly diverse and involved student cohort. This month, the spotlight focuses on Graham High School grad, Ravyn Njagu ’16.

Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Ravyn Njagu: I am from the small city of Graham, North Carolina, where I grew up the youngest of three children with my closest sibling being nine years older than me. Therefore my family dynamic was a little different as both of my siblings served, and continue to serve, as my role models and mentors. I attended Graham High School for my freshman and sophomore years before completing my secondary education at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. I chose to study human biology because of my interest in modern health science and its underlying concepts that are applicable to my eventual career. In my spare time, I like to spend time with family and friends, travel, watch football and basketball, and listen to music.

Talk about some of your greatest accomplishments thus far at NC State.

I am currently doing research on osteosarcoma with Dr. Jonathan Fogle in a clinical immunology lab at the Vet school through the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity. While in this lab I have been afforded an undergraduate research grant and will be presenting at national conference called the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students in November. I am also an organic chemistry teaching assistant for Dr. Kay Sandberg and a tutor for the College of Sciences Office of Diversity. Other accomplishments include being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies as a junior, being a resident advisor for two years, and becoming a Caldwell Fellow.

What has your experience in the Goodnight Scholars Program been like thus far?

My experience in the Goodnight Scholars Program has changed as the Program continues to evolve and get better. As a freshman I was less involved, but at the time that was the nature of the Program. The Program now has so many opportunities to be engaged that it makes you want to be involved and be an integral part of the community. I am currently an ambassador for the Program, which enables me to share my experience and knowledge of the Program on a much more personal level. All in all, the Goodnight Scholars Program has provided me with a dynamic community to be part of, and has prompted so much personal and professional growth that I will apply to future endeavors. My experience in the Program has certainly supplemented and enhanced my undergraduate career.

I consider my biggest accomplishments at NC State to be what I have done outside of the classrooms. I believe that is where the most potential for growth lies.

What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?

Being a Goodnight Scholar means being held to a higher standard. One mantra of the Goodnight Scholars Program is “Pay it forward.” This mantra demonstrates that I am not only expected to reach my full potential, but that I also have an even greater responsibility of ensuring that the community and future generations do so as well.

How has the Goodnight Scholars Program prepared you for life after college?

The programming efforts and the supportive community of the Goodnight Scholars Program has aided in my development as a student, leader, and professional that will prove to be useful as I continue on my journey after graduation. The Program has prepared me for life after college, as it has provided many opportunities to explore my interests and participate new activities that have broaden my horizons.

Speaking of life after college, what are your future career goals and aspirations?

My future career goals are susceptible to change, but as for now I would like to be a physician-scientist. I began to prepare for a career in medicine very early in my post-secondary education, but then I discovered my additional passion for research. Therefore, I would like to merge my passions through pursuing a dual training programming where I can conduct quality translational research that I can apply to my medical practice.

What advice would give to a new or prospective Goodnight Scholars about being involved at NC State and the Goodnight Scholars Program?

My advice to new or prospective Goodnight Scholars is to take advantage of opportunities provided by not only the Goodnight Scholars Program but by the university and the outside community. Participation in a variety of organizations and activities can lead to the discovery of interests and passions and may even alter your career path. Be open to try something new!