For Michelle, UAlbany became more than a place to prepare for her future.
Michelle Kobou Wafo
Massry Community Service Fellow
The Chi Sigma theta Sorority Scholarship
When she transferred to UAlbany, Michelle Kobou Wafo found more than a place to prepare for her future. “I found a family at UAlbany,” says the Cameroon native, who moved to the U.S. in 2014.
Wafo initially enrolled at another school, but the fit with her fellow students didn’t seem right. “I wanted to be in a place where I felt I belonged.” She applied to several other schools in New York and, after weighing diversity and public-transportation options, she chose UAlbany. Wafo laughingly recalls that Albany was also “the warmest” of the locations she considered.
As a pre-med student enrolled in The Honors College, Wafo majored in economics and minored in biology. In 2016, she worked at the Cancer Research Center with Martin Tenniswood, Ph.D., investigating the potential effects of pomegranate ellagitannins on breast-cancer cells. Another memorable experience – a one-week conference that gathered “student leaders all across the world” in Bangkok to focus on “sustainable development goals of the United Nations” – was “empowering for me,” adds the 2018 President’s Award for Leadership recipient.
Before graduating in May 2019, Wafo, a Massry Community Fellow, volunteered for several organizations, including the Capital City Rescue Mission, Albany Community Hospice, and Albany Medical Center’s oncology department. She also worked with such organizations as the African Youth Alliance and Women And Children Rights In Africa (WACRIA) to improve life for people back home.
Wafo plans to return to the Capital Region to attend Albany Medical College. Inspired by the excellent care and treatment her mother – a 10-year breast-cancer survivor – has received, she wants to become an oncologist, though she’s “open” to refocusing her career aims. “I’ll see what the future holds,” adds the two-time Chi Sigma Theta Scholarship recipient, who thanked the sorority for its “amazing generosity and support.”
She is also grateful to Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences Daniel Wulff, who took time to get to know her. “Just the way he communicated, I felt like he cared. I’m still in touch with him today; he retired in 2017,” Wafo says.