Goodnight Spotlight: Gabriella Mamlouk

Gabriella has truly done it all in the Goodnight Scholars Program.

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

Gabriella Mamlouk ’19: I was born in New York, and I did some growing up in Long Island until I moved to Raleigh at age 10. I have just recently surpassed the halfway point between living in New York and North Carolina. Does that mean I should be calling myself a southerner? With both of my parents being Egyptian immigrants who sought a life of opportunity in the U.S., it was instilled in me from a young age that I could do anything as long as I worked hard. I attended William G. Enloe Magnet High School, where I was involved in student government and the Medical Bioscience Academy. I went to a high school with a lot of resources that prepared me for NC State. Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted to become a doctor. However, it was only after I received my Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) licensure during my senior year of high school that I could answer why I wanted to become a doctor. I completed my CNA clinical rotations at WakeMed Hospital’s Rehabilitation Unit, where most of the patient population was composed of stroke victims. Watching the doctors and nurses help patients reach new milestones and regain control of their lives solidified my passion for healthcare. With that goal in mind, I am majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in integrative physiology and neurobiology. Witnessing the diversity of the patient population in the hospital reminded me that it was imperative that I could communicate with the largest minority population in the United States. So, despite taking French in high school, I decided to minor in Spanish.

If you had to summarize your personality in one sentence, what would it say?

Every man is the artisan of his own fortune; independence, compassion and drive are essential.

How would you describe your life as an NC State student?

My life as an NC State student is busy. I mean that in a good way! My life as an NC State student is filled with experiences that I have chosen for myself, not because I have to, but because I want to. I have had the privilege of doing research with the Williams Lab in the Department of Chemistry, and I am currently working with the Meitzen Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition to serving as a Goodnight mentor and ambassador, I am also a part of NC State’s Chapter of Operation Smile, an organization that provides cleft palate surgeries to children all over the world, VOLAR, a club that interacts with Raleigh’s LatinX population through community service, and I am an organic chemistry teaching assistant for Dr. Sandberg. A typical day could start with three hours doing research in the lab, followed by back-to-back lectures, a Goodnight event, and a club meeting. I genuinely enjoy all of the roles I have taken on, and that makes the long nights worth it.

Any personal accomplishments at NC State that you are proud of?

Thanks to the support of my many mentors at NC State, I have been able to maintain Dean’s List since the start of my undergraduate career. This spring, I was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa honor society. I realize that my GPA is simply a number, though. What I actually take pride in are the countless nights spent studying in the library because I felt passionate about the content of my classes. I am also happy that I have pursued experiences outside of my field. Despite being a biology major, I did research in the Department of Chemistry. I took on a Spanish minor without ever taking a class pre-college, and with a Goodnight enrichment grant, I was able to study abroad in Spain during the summer of 2017. I have also taken Arabic classes to learn how to write the language I grew up speaking with my family.  My Arabic class started 15 minutes after my Spanish class ended, which made for some interesting tongue-tied conversations!

Being a Goodnight Scholar also means community. With a program so diverse, I learn from the people around me every day.

What is one experience you need to have at NC State before you graduate?

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I’ve never been to an NC State basketball game during my undergraduate career! It is so important to me that I attend one before I graduate, mainly because basketball is the only sport I actually understand!

Tell us about your time in the Goodnight Scholars Program.

My cohort was the first to experience the Goodnight Scholars Program’s First-Year Seminar. Over the course of the year, we worked in groups to solve important North Carolina issues. Through those stimulating conversations, the seminar gave me a great opportunity to get to know my amazing cohort. I was eager to get to know the next group of Goodnight Scholars, so the following year, I served as a Goodnight mentor. My mentees gave me insight into the experiences of high school students from rural North Carolina. I learned that many of my peers weren’t exposed to the same information about the Goodnight Scholars Program, and college in general, that I received going to high school in Raleigh. I wanted to change that. My junior year, I took on the role of Goodnight ambassador. I had the opportunity to give presentations on the Goodnight Scholars Program and encourage high school students to pursue STEM. My senior year, I have been given the honor to serve both as Goodnight transfer mentor and ambassador. I am so excited to combine my love for the Goodnight community with a passion for outreach! Goodnight resume aside, the Goodnight Scholars Program has been the most transformative part of my undergraduate career. I have met people I never would have crossed paths with, traveled to places I never would have seen, and achieved goals I never would have had the confidence to pursue.

What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?

Being a Goodnight Scholar means growth. When I was interviewing for the Goodnight Scholars Program, I was told that the Program is not just a reward for high school academic achievement, but an investment in my future. That being said, being a Goodnight Scholar has made me take advantage of the resources I have in order to grow and pay this investment forward in my community tenfold. I have grown through the Goodnight Scholars Program’s First-year Seminar, travel opportunities, and programming centered around culture and professional opportunities. Being a Goodnight Scholar also means community. With a program so diverse, I learn from the people around me every day. I am in awe of what my peers are achieving; it is truly humbling to be surrounded by such brilliant people. There is an indescribable network of support between my peers and the Goodnight professional staff; I am lucky to have so many people challenging me and encouraging me to be the best I can be.

Do you have an unforgettable memory from your time in the Program thus far?

Fall break of my junior year, I was selected to go on the Goodnight Scholars trip to Boston. I had the chance to explore a new city with some of my favorite people. We were only there for a few days, but the trip struck an amazing balance between opportunities for professional growth and opportunities for cultural growth. I had the chance to explore LabCentral, a non-profit laboratory space for emerging biotech companies. It was fascinating to see science integrated with business in the realm of startups. When we weren’t learning about groundbreaking advances in STEM, we were watching a stand-up comedy show and touring Fenway Park. Lastly, as someone who is largely motivated by food, I have to say we had some amazing culinary experiences. Being surrounded by fellow Goodnights made the experience all the more unforgettable.

Where do you picture yourself after graduation?

After graduating, I plan to attend medical school. I’m applying to schools all over the country, and I’m excited to see where I’ll end up! After working in a variety of medical settings, I know I love hospitals. That being said, I hope to pursue a career in surgery that allows me to travel to countries without access to safe medical care.

Photography credit: Jason Perry/Goodnight Scholars Program