Andrea Ramirez was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States when she was 12 years old. She says that having to learn a new language was challenging in the beginning, but the language barrier did not affect her drive to be successful in high school and through college.
Currently, Andrea is a senior biology major with a minor in chemistry. “I am a hard worker and am enthusiastic about science. I always aim for the best because I believe that everything is possible in life no matter how hard or impossible something might seem—all it takes is to have a great desire to achieve your dream.” This is reflected in one of Andrea’s favorite lines from a poem: “It matters not how straight the gate. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” by William Ernest Henley.
“Since a very young age, my passions have been science and helping others. One of my most influential experiences was traveling to Costa Rica and Nicaragua as a volunteer to help rural communities that had little to no access to healthcare. The communities were in great need of medical attention and medicine, and so being able to help them in the ways that I could was very fulfilling.”
In 2012, Andrea joined Dr. Dixon’s research group to study heme uptake by human pathogenic bacteria. Andrea’s research led her to apply for and receive a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) scholarship, further motivating her to pursue more research opportunities. So, in the summer of 2014, Andrea was accepted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to do research in the Department of Psychiatry, studying postpartum depression and stress reactivity in perimenopausal women. Further, Andrea was awarded a full scholarship to present her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in San Antonio, Texas.
Between classes and lab, Andrea likes to travel, read and spend time with her family. “I’ve been back to my beautiful country Colombia and also Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Bahamas. Learning about different cultures fascinates me, which is one of the reasons why I love Georgia State University.”