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Auburn Senior Brings Yale Experience to COSAM Education

Published: 09/24/2019

By: Carla Nelson

Auburn University senior Kennedye McGhee’s grandfather instilled in her the desire to seek out a future profession that would be more than just a job.

“My grandfather used to always tell me ‘Kennedye, I want you to have a career and not a job because a job is something that you wake up in the morning and just go to, but a career is something that you enjoy, that you take pride in, that you are able to develop,’” she said.

Kennedye said she believes she has found that calling as she is studying biomedical sciences through the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) to one day become a physician. Throughout high school and college, she said she realized that she had a calling from God to be a leader and that she also enjoyed working with children. She is currently considering a career as a pediatrician.

A former resident of Birmingham, since moving to Auburn Kennedye has worked with children by volunteering with children’s ministry in her hometown church and has been involved locally with the mentoring program Project Uplift since freshman year.

“I love the kids in the Project Uplift program,” Kennedye shared. “We’ve grown up with them. I still work with the same girls I’ve had since freshman year. It’s been unique to see them grow up.”

Kennedye has also been involved in the Student Government Association and the Black Student Union, has studied abroad in England, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the pre-health organization Alpha Epsilon Delta. She was also a top-five candidate in the 2019-2020 Miss Auburn election.

Kennedye has even gained valuable research experience through a prestigious internship at Yale School of Medicine through the Discovery to Cure Internship Program. She participated in research during her freshman year at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, which she believes helped her land the Yale internship. Her research at Yale focused on ovarian cancer.

“It was really great,” she said of the experience. “I was able do research and learn and grow, but I was able to see so many different people from so many different ethnicities and backgrounds coming together to work on this project. To be able to see that diversity in one setting, especially in the healthcare world, it was really great for me. It was also unique to see what I had just worked on reflected in my academics and in my schoolwork, too.”

Kennedye said during her time in COSAM, she feels the student advisors and Dr. Kimberly Mulligan, assistant dean in the Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity, have helped elevate her experience.

“Dr. Mulligan is kind of like my counselor, my advisor, my confidant - and she has been for the past three, almost four, years,” she shared. “They are all very patient, they are all kind and very interested in getting you on your journey.”

Kennedye added that she feels her time studying through COSAM has prepared her well for a career as a physician.

“Auburn is very rigorous in academics,” she said. “It is not easy, it is challenging. It just allowed me to grow as a student with academics and as a person finding myself. So, my time at Auburn has been very well spent and definitely prepared me for what’s to come.”

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