Hometown: Libreville, Gabon
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Internships: Senior Research and four Student Independent Study projects (three in chemistry and one in biology)
Activities: Chemistry Club, Biology Club, Women's Rowing Club captain, University Ball, Relay for Life volunteer, Tutor, WCSU Phonaton, WestConn Research Day participant, Science Fair volunteer, Wizards of Chemistry show, teaching assistant, lab assistant
Honors and Awards: Sigma Xi Award for Research, Dean's List and Merit Scholarship
Ornella Sathoud is one of WestConn's many international students. Born in Congo and raised in Gabon, Sathoud exemplifies the kind of success story that can be found at WCSU. Sathoud attributes some of her accomplishments to the fact that she pursued her degree here. "The chemistry department is the perfect size. It promotes interaction between students and professors, which I strongly believe helped me a lot during my four years at WestConn."
Sathoud says her choice of major was easy since "I always enjoyed chemistry class in high school because it would give me answers to most of my simple everyday questions like why are the leaves green, why is the sky blue or why are jalapeno peppers hot. Obtaining answers in such a logical way made me love the subject a little bit more every day until I decided to major in it."
When asked if anyone on campus has left an impression on her, Sathoud says, "Every single professor I interacted with was a mentor to me and had a meaningful impact on my undergrad career in different ways. I'm very grateful for their time, their mentoring and their friendship. Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr Yuan Mei was my senior research mentor and I really enjoyed working with her. She knew how to guide me through the research and when to let me on my own when she felt I was ready. I really learned a lot from her and Associate Profess of Chemistry Dr. Paula Secondo, who was my adviser and my first research mentor. Working with Dr. Secondo taught me the basics of research and working with Dr. Mei gave me the opportunity to apply what I have learned and learn some more."
Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Sathoud says, "My most memorable experience was the talk I gave during WestConn Research Day. My first language is French and I had to present in English. I was so sure that I would mess up by going blank or not finding my words, but I actually did much better than I expected. After my presentation I felt like I achieved something and that I could present anything to any audience anywhere.”
After graduation, Sathoud says her goal is to obtain a Ph.D in pharmacology and toxicology. "Then I want to find a job in a pharmaceutical industry for a while before focusing on my desire to become a college professor."
Sathoud’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "You are in the right place, enjoy every bit of it.”