Biochemistry Student Ambassador
Natali is pursuing a B.A. in Biochemistry with a minor in Biology. She is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the American Medical Student Association, and a Student Member of the American Chemical Society (SMACS). She is the Demo Training Co-Chair of SMACS and won their 2022-2023 Outstanding Member Award.
Why did you choose to attend UM?
When I was first applying to colleges, most of the places I chose were really similar in what they were offering. Since many of my top picks were out of state and only offering virtual tours, I ended up just picking a couple of universities in-state to tour that would allow me to see what a college campus actually looked like. I’m so glad I did! Though the day of my tour it was raining and everything was wet, the student ambassadors didn’t let the weather get to them at all! They were still full of excitement, and I could tell they truly loved being at Ole Miss. After walking through campus and talking with the people there, I knew I would too!
When and how did you choose your major(s)/minor(s)?
I knew I would be a STEM major, but I would have to thank my high school biochemistry/organic chemistry teacher for my final decision. I absolutely loved her and the class and could see myself continuing in the field.
Why is your department a special place?
The professors of the chemistry department truly are passionate about what they do and are also willing to do everything in their power to help you succeed. Everyone I’ve met in the chem department, whether they were students or instructors are always very friendly and welcoming even if you’ve just met them.
Can you tell me about a professor or a class you’ve taken that has had the most impact on you?
I’d say my general chemistry class has had quite an impact on me. I took the honors section with Dr. Ritchie who is great at what he does. While there were some challenging concepts, I enjoyed it immensely, especially the recitations in which we got to do some hands-on experiments. The class made me realize I do love chemistry and definitely chose the right major.
What do you hope to do after you graduate? What are your career goals/ plans for postgraduation?
If all goes well in the next few years, I hope to go on to medical school after I graduate from UM and ultimately, become a surgeon.
Apart from school, how do you spend your time in Oxford? What are your hobbies, favorite places to go, etc.?
When I’m not hunkered down in the HoCo dungeon, I like to find a calm place to sit down and read whether it’s at a coffee shop, park, or just in the Grove!
What is your go-to meal in Oxford?
My go-to meal is definitely pasta at Proud Larry’s. Best pick-up meal after a day of studying during finals week!
What is one thing you wish you knew as an incoming freshman that you’d tell your past self (about the general college experience)?
No matter how much you prepare yourself for it, college is going to be a huge change not just academically, but to your lifestyle. But don’t worry, you’ll definitely be able to adjust and know that you don’t have to do it alone! Plenty of people are eager and willing to help if you just ask. Put yourself out of your comfort zone and make some new friends. Don’t be afraid to try new things!