Niki Woitowich

News & Features

Friday, July 11, 2014

I would not be where I am today if it were not for the encouragement and support of the entire faculty and staff of the Biology Department at NEIU. Currently I am working on my doctoral degree in Biochemistry at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, where I am also a member of the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as Physiology and Biophysics.

When I started at NEIU I had no idea what I would do for a career with a degree in Biology. I was unsure of myself and my ability as a scientist. My very first graduate class at NEIU was taught by Dr. Emina Stojkovic, a professor in the Biology Department. She saw potential in me that others had missed, including myself. She encouraged me to gain experience by working in a research lab, something I thought I wasn't cut out for.  I ended up joining her lab a semester later and successfully defended my master's thesis two years later on research that was conducted in Dr. Stojkovic's lab.

My research at NEIU took me to places I never thought possible. I attended scientific meetings in Texas, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, as well as Germany. I was proud to share the cutting edge research being done at NEIU across the globe.

Without the mentorship I received at NEIU I would not be as successful as I am today.

The faculty and staff at Northeastern fostered my academic interests and scientific aptitude. They helped me become a better student and scientist. The small class sizes encouraged student and faculty to really get to know one another. My classmates are now some of my closest friends as we keep in touch with each other as our professional careers develop. We have formed a strong bond that will last long beyond our years at NEIU.

Recently, I was selected by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to attend their annual "Hill Day," where graduate students and faculty from across the country meet with their local congressional representatives on Capitol Hill to talk about the future of scientific research and scientific funding.

After completing my Ph.D., I aspire to teach at a university like NEIU where I would be able to inspire students and get them excited about science, just as the faculty at NEIU did for me.