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Ali Younis

Hi! My name is Ali Younis and I am a senior here at UCF majoring in Chemistry. I attended Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach, Florida. The reason I fell in love with Chemistry was because my high school chemistry teacher, Dr. Altmann, incorporated anecdotes and analogies as well as games and group activities into virtually every class period. He made the process of learning a dense and challenging discipline fun and enjoyable.

One of the most interesting courses I have taken at UCF, Inorganic Chemistry, was taught by Dr. Fernando Uribe-Romo. Dr. Romo was incredibly engaging and incorporated hands-on models and displays, as well as interesting videos into his lectures. His efforts made learning molecular representations, orbital theory, and other seemingly tedious inorganic dogma enjoyable and thought provoking.  It was while taking this class that I decided to pursue research in bioinorganic chemistry; an arena where transition metals meet biological mechanisms. I hope to help advance the field of bioenergetics and mend our polluted relationship with the Earth.

After gaining priceless knowledge from research experiences, I wanted to contribute to the sciences in a way that didn’t involve lab protocol, so I turned to STEM Ambassadors. The STEM Ambassadors program offered me the opportunity to foster a love of STEM fields within younger students in creative and unorthodox ways. Students in conventional classrooms often become frustrated with and steer away from STEM subjects because of the lack of intellectual liberty in many of these classrooms. I want to take on the challenge of encouraging and inspiring young students to explore STEM by making it fun, showing them how concepts they learn already impact their everyday lives. I also seek to reassure them that no matter their sex, race, or sexual orientation, they can succeed in STEM just as much as anyone else.

To any prospective STEM student I offer the following words of advice: Although homework and other assignments can make a course or discipline difficult to enjoy, reading an article or paper (every now and then) on research/developments in the field can really put what you’re learning into perspective. You might find something you’re passionate about and end up being a Nobel Laureate!

When I’m not in the lab or doing school work you can find me listening to music (probably Frank Ocean), watching movies (definitely Ratatouille), tuned into NPR (always 90.7 WMFE Orlando), obsessively reading about NBA basketball (bet on the Celtics), discovering new spots to eat (no food is too strange to try), or using way too many compound sentences. Thanks for stopping by!