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Bianca ObinyanBianca Obinyan ’18

Houston, TX

Meet Bianca Obinyan. This UTSA Honors College student and biology major shares her love for UTSA with others as a member of the Ambassador Program.

Obinyan was born and raised in Houston to Nigerian parents who came to the United States to pursue their education. She and her twin sister, Brittany, both chose to pursue their education at UTSA after a representative came to their high school.

“When I had questions, the UTSA representative got back to me right away,” Obinyan said. “That was very important. It showed that UTSA would support me once I got to university, and it has been that way since day one my freshman year.”

Soon after she arrived on campus, Obinyan learned about the UTSA Ambassador Program, a select group of student leaders who act as hosts at campus events, and community and alumni functions. She applied and got accepted.

“What I love most about the Ambassador Program is how you can genuinely express your love for UTSA at every single moment whether it’s giving tours or speaking with alumni. It’s important to not only know the community, but also yourself, to realize how much you have gotten out of your college experience.”

Obinyan says it’s taught her to be a better leader and be more comfortable with speaking to people from various backgrounds. This year, the senior will pass on what she’s learned, serving as an Ambassador Coordinator.

After she graduates in spring 2018, Obinyan plans to go to medical school. She aspires to be a neurosurgeon and has already gained experience in cognitive neuroscience research, working in professor Nicole Wicha’s lab.

“We’re looking at how language affects the way bilingual children are learning arithmetic facts,” Obinyan said. “The research has evolved into my thesis project – focusing on how socioeconomic factors impact arithmetic performance in monolingual and bilingual children.”

She gained interest in another medical field during a study abroad opportunity to Mexico in summer of 2016. Obinyan spent four weeks in Guadalajara focusing on cross-cultural medicine, administering vaccines and assisting with pap smears, and developing a love for obstetrics and gynecology.

“I came to college wanting to do research and participate in a clinical study abroad trip,” Obinyan said. “This proves that UTSA is the perfect university to do whatever you want.”

Obinyan was able to expand on what she learned in Mexico during a cross-cultural medicine class taught by Jill Fleuriet and Alan Vince.

“Dr. Fleuriet encouraged us to reflect on what we did at clinic. I knew I could never administer vaccines as a college student in the United States, but I also learned that students in Mexico begin medical school right after high school.  The differences in medical practices were eye-opening,” Obinyan said.

As she enters her last year at UTSA, Obinyan is now reflecting on her experiences here, academically and emotionally.

“I expected college to just be a place to study and learn. I didn’t know I would meet so many amazing people and mentors who are genuinely invested in my success. It makes me want to scream from the rooftops, ‘now and forever, I am a Roadrunner.’”

Story by Courtney Clevenger on UTSA Today