Shaniya Plump, Biology major at the College of Science
Shaniya Plump, Biology major at the College of Science

To honor the contributions of Black students during Black History Month, Shaniya Plump, a Biology major at the College of Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, shared her journey and aspirations.

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Plump's interest in UAH was sparked when she participated in a high school science fair on the UAH campus. Fascinated by the campus atmosphere, she decided to pursue her academic endeavors at UAH.

Reflecting on her family background, Plump admits, "I don't know where I got my love for science; my mom works in a bank, and my dad loves history." Her academic path is focused on biology, particularly cell and microbiology. "I'm really drawn to cell biology right now. It delves into neurons and various bodily tissues," she explains. Her involvement in Dr. Kramer's Cell and Development class reinforced her path.

As a junior with aspirations for higher education, Plump aims to pursue a Master's degree, potentially through UAH's JUMP program, to further her research and expertise. She desires to secure a lab position and dive deeper into biology within the Huntsville community.

Delving into her research interests, Plump highlights her interest in studying diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, "I love learning about the signals and pathways that are included with those diseases because my great-grandmother has Alzheimer's, so it's really interesting to me to know the science behind it," she says.

Plump exemplifies resilience and determination by navigating her responsibilities, including regular visits back home for work obligations. Juggling academic pursuits with a part-time job at the College of Science Academic Advising office and another job back home, she demonstrates a steadfast commitment to her goals amidst familial and personal responsibilities.

Acknowledging the limitations of balancing academics with personal well-being, Plump advises fellow students not to rush or push too hard, seek academic assistance, and prioritize self-care. "Take your time, and don't be afraid to go to professors' office hours," she advises, recognizing the importance of utilizing available resources. "Have a life outside of school and take care of yourself," she emphasizes.

Plump's story talks about resilience and the pursuit of excellence in adversity. As she continues navigating her academic and personal objectives, Plump remains committed to follow her dreams and work hard to achieve her goals.