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COSAM Leader Reflects Fondly Over Time Spent at Auburn

Published: 12/11/2018

By: Carla Nelson

As she prepares for graduation in May, Teressa Duong looks back on her time as a student in the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) with pride. From time spent as a COSAM Leader, to a fun summer as a Camp War Eagle counselor, she said she has enjoyed her time as a student and feels prepared for the next chapter of her life.

Teressa, who is originally from Vietnam but grew up in Birmingham, is studying biomedical sciences with a pre-med concentration and has hopes of becoming a pediatrician. Her original plan was to study pharmacy, so she visited Auburn and Ole Miss when searching for a college.

“There was no comparison between the two,” she said. “I fell in love with Auburn and when I toured COSAM, it gave me such a feeling that I knew I would be happy here.”

During her freshman year, Teressa decided to change her major to pursue a medical degree.

“I’ve always wanted to be a physician and I think I just really doubted myself initially,” Teressa said. “Half way through freshman year I decided that I’ve got to do what’s going to make me happy and not what’s safe.”

Teressa wasn’t considering pediatrics until she spent time shadowing a pediatrician.

“I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but then I shadowed a pediatrician and it just rocked my world,” she said. “It was so life-changing. I loved being goofy with the kids, but I also loved the serious side of communicating with the parents. It was a perfect mix.”

Teressa is also an ambassador for the Office of Inclusion, Equity and Diversity, and has been a COSAM Leader since her junior year. Another honor she has received while in school was being inducted into the Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honor Society.

“Freshman year is always a tough year for us all to get through, so getting into Lambda Sigma meant a lot for me because it made me feel like I was on the right track, especially after changing majors,” she said.

In her down time, Teressa enjoys showing off her athletic side. She was recently part of a co-ed intramural flag football team that made it to the playoffs.

“I have really enjoyed being able to show my competitiveness and athletic side, because I feel like a lot of people don’t expect me to be like that since I’m always studying,” she said.

Teressa said she is proud to be a part of the supportive COSAM environment.

“I feel like instead of students being competitive, COSAM does a great job of showing us that we all need to be there for one another, rather than pitting us against one another,” she said. “If I miss class, for whatever reason, there’s always going to be someone in class that’s willing to send me the lecture or notes. We aren’t up against one another. We’re happy for one another and we’re always encouraging. That’s what I really love about COSAM.”

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