Nyah Johnson is a senior chemistry major at Morgan State University. She is a participant in the LSAMP program. She conducts with Dr. McCarthy, associate professor, in the biochemistry lab. Nyah recently won 2nd Place at the Annual National Technical Association for her research with Dr.McCarthy. Her presentation was entitled: "A One-pot Enzymatic Synthesis of CMP-Sialic Acid Derivatives as Substrates for the Neisseria Meningitidis Serogroup W Capsule Polymerase".
Which class have you most enjoyed?
My favorite class had to be Organic Chemistry, and when some people hear that they're like yeah she's crazy but Organic was the part of chemistry that really molded me into a better person. I was genuinely passionate about studying for it, and my professor was amazing at teaching it. I also enjoyed biochemistry, everything was well explained and studying was a breeze. Those two classes were definitely my most interesting and favorite classes.
What are some of the challenges of being a chemistry major?
In my opinion some of the challenges that come with being a chemistry major is lack of resiliency. You HAVE to be resilient, you have to be determined and you have to have confidence. I had none of these things but once I began to develop it I felt myself growing educationally. Chemistry can be tough, and you really have to be steadfast to accomplish it. There were many times when I wanted to switch majors and I mean I didn't care that it would keep me in school longer however, my mentors kept me grounded and staying was the best decision I could've ever made.
What do you enjoy most about chemistry?
My favorite part about chemistry would have to be understanding what I'm learning. Chemistry can be tough and accomplishing the goal of understanding really keeps me going. I also enjoy getting a deeper meaning of different processes, it answer's the why's that so often pop up in my head.
Have you received any internship or job opportunities through the chemistry department?
The Chemistry department has offered me so many opportunities and I will never stop being grateful for them. I've worked in the chemistry department in the main office providing assistance wherever needed, the department has offered me a job opportunity in a research lab AND access to a summer program cultivating my skills in research and presenting at conferences not to mention all these opportunities were paid. I owe a lot of my success to the Chemistry department.