News from The Mahurin Honors College
Briana Harness Spotlight
- Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022
Why did you choose WKU?
I chose WKU because I liked the community. Everyone that I talked to was helpful or friendly. Unlike other colleges I’ve seen, the student population seemed to be a giant community.
Why did you choose your degree program?
I chose my degree path because I have a strong passion for science. I’ve always been good at chemistry and biology, so I figured biochemistry would be the perfect balance. I hoped that it would be broad enough to get me where I would want to be in the future.
What key activities/organizations have shaped your WKU experience? Name the organization and explain your involvement.
Being in the Honors College has greatly shaped my experience. There is a lot of support within the honors college to help people through their college experience.
I am a student researcher and being in the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program greatly shaped my experience as well. When I first came to campus, I knew that I wanted to do research. LSAMP assisted me in making that possible.
How have you already applied what you are learning?
Academically, a lot of what I have learned in my classes is going towards my research. Socially, the experiences that I’ve had during college have helped me to mature as a person. I have become better at advocating for myself. This has allowed me to pursue a life in which I can positively influence my well-being and the well-being of others.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I’m not completely sure what the future has in store for me, but after graduation, I hope to pursue a Ph.D.
What experience(s) have you had during your years as a WKU student that has helped or is helping you prepare for a career after graduation? Feel free to be as specific as you like. Examples include specific classes, internships, work, study abroad, or projects.
Research has helped me tremendously in planning for a career after graduation. The act of doing research helped me relearn how I processed the world around me, opening my view to different perspectives. In addition, participating in research allowed me to be near individuals who had similar aspirations as me. I was able to network and better find the people who could support me in my ambitions.
What has been the best part of your WKU experience? Why?
The best part of my WKU experience has been interacting with the student body and getting involved around campus. There is always something to do at the university. I have some very fond memories of sledding outside of Van Meter and performing with the concert band.
You were recommended by the Cultural Committee at WKU to be Student Feature during Black History Month, representing your academic college. Please share a highlighted experience at WKU given your racial/ethnic background.
A highlighted experience for me would be my recent participation in ISEC. Particularly, having conversations with my peers that helped me learn about myself. Having a community like ISEC on campus is so imperative to higher learning. For me, it became a place in which I felt represented and comfortable. This encouraged me to ask deeper questions about my life experience. Furthermore, ISEC encouraged me to build stronger connections within a diverse community that would have been inaccessible to me and others. That is very powerful.
What advice do you have for other students coming to WKU with a similar racial/ethnic background?
Don’t be afraid to find your niche. If there’s ever a goal worth achieving, I bet you there are 20 other people who want to stand by you and help you succeed. You just have to be patient, enduring, and willing to find them.
If there has been someone or an office at WKU that has made a difference to you, please name them and explain.
My research advisor Dr.Banga made a big difference to me. She pushed me to take advantage of opportunities. Through the experience of working with her, I have gained more confidence in my future path.
Are you involved in Black History Month activities at WKU? If so, please discuss your involvement.
I’m responding to these questions on the first day of February, but further into the month, I hope to get involved in as much as I can.
Are there any life experiences that impacted you in your pursuit of obtaining this degree that you would like to share? If so, please do.
Throughout a big portion of my life, I have been the only Black female that I knew who was pursuing a STEM field. I wanted to prove that it could be done. I wanted people to know that Black and educated could fit into the same sentence and that being in STEM didn’t change my identity as black. I was lucky to have educated black women in my life to look up to and to have family and friends that gave me the confidence to dream of a future in which I became the person I wanted to be. Many people don’t have that. So, a big part of me wants to become the person that my past self would be proud of as well as a person that future generations can look up to.