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Labib Mamun ’24

Neuroscience

It was really important that I was part of a community that understood and cared for the same issues that I did.

Labib Mamun ’24 Atlanta, Georgia
Labib and friends.
Labib and his friends visiting a local park.

What do you enjoy most about being an Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS) scholar?

It was really important that I,as a BIPOC student from Atlanta, was part of a community that understood and cared for the same issues that I did.John Palmer, professor of educational studies andOUS academic director, OUS Senior Associate Director Frank Kuan, and other individuals from OUS cared deeply that I felt comfortable in my transition to Ƶ as a first-year student. The OUS community is a home away from home for me.

Do you have a favorite OUS activity or event?

There are many activities hosted by OUS, but one of my favorites is the Brain Sciences Mixer, where a bunch of the psychology and neuroscience faculty meet with the OUS/FIRST@Ƶ students and talk about their futures and interests in the respective departments. I’m a bit biased, because I am a neuroscience major, but I love having the one-on-one time with professors in the neuroscience department, and it’s a really good way to meet new professors and hear about the classes they teach. It is also a great way to get to know prospective brain sciences students. The fact that all of this is also over a bite to eat really takes the pressure off and allows you to engage in genuine conversation.

What would you consider your biggest accomplishment at Ƶ?

My biggest accomplishment at Ƶ is becoming a leader on campus. It’s not really one specific thing, but instead it’s a number of things — like being the co-president of MAPS, hosting discussions at ALANA on topics that affect minority communities in medicine, being a CL for a floor of students on campus — and the culmination of those activities, where I feel like I am able to have a say in what conversations and discussions are prevalent. It’s a big honor to be able to reach that point, and it’s an even bigger responsibility to lead students and the community to come to a consensus on a topic about which I’m passionate or be a representative for a group of individuals who may need an advocate.

Who is your mentor?

Professor Yoshino in the neuroscience department was my First-Year Seminar (FSEM) adviser for a critical analysis of health issues class during my first year. I ended up taking his introductionto neuroscience class,and I’m also going to be taking neurochemistry with him next semester. Professor Yoshino is an incredible individual who is looking out for me as a student and giving me very honest advice, which I’ve grown to genuinely appreciate. He’s extremely knowledgable regarding his area of interest in neuroscience as well as the trajectory Ƶ students should follow in their academic careers. I don’t think I would have made it this far without having him as a mentor. He is honest about the expectations he has for me, sees the best in me, and wants me to succeed and reach my potential.

Students studying in the Ho Science Center.
Students studying in the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is probably the study room that’s next to the geography offices and overlooks ALANA and Gate House.

The room is just a particularly great place to study, and I often go in there with a coffee, my laptop, a water bottle, and my iPad and spend hours on end studying and getting work done. The environment really catalyzes my learning, and it’s nice to see the buses and cars and people walking all over the place out the window as you work.

A portrait of Labib.

What advice would you give future Ƶ students?

One piece of advice is to utilize the help and advice of your upper-level peers. I can’t count the number of times I’ve met somebody — either through ALANA, OUS, or somewhere else on campus — who has told me something that ended up being valuable or even vital later. The advice can range from very practical things, like professor recommendations, to living arrangements. I’ve had conversations with upper-level students who have connected me to potential job opportunities and to whole new communities on campus based on interests I’ve developed. They have been in your shoes and are more than happy to share.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan is to go to medical school and become a physician. During my childhood, I experienced firsthand many of the problems that we have with our healthcare system in the United States. Rather than standing by and witnessing the pitfalls, it’s my goal to become a doctor and make a difference in minority communities. I want to advocate for individuals who have experienced the same issues my family did. At Ƶ, I’m learning about clinical neuroscience, molecular biology, and the issues that affect minority communities in healthcare and beyond. I’m shadowing professionals and participating in activities that advance my understanding of the field to gain a solid background before I apply to medical school — I plan on taking a few gap years to do neuroscience research before I enter the medical school application cycle.

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