Science Super Star
In her four years at the Mount, Rita Anoh (C’23) has made achievements beyond the typical undergraduate student in her field. Anoh has won a Goldwater Scholarship and completed internships at Caltech and MIT and has been accepted to doctoral programs at MIT, Harvard, Penn, Caltech and Yale. Through her experiences and accomplishments, Anoh has grown a passion to not only advance in her own life but to take others along with her on her journey through scientific discovery.
Unlike most children who are initially interested in the sciences from a young age, Anoh did not develop a true love for the study until much later in life, her first year of college in fact. She remarked, “I found my passion after my first research experience when I started working in Dr. Lombardi’s lab because I really enjoyed the work in it.” Finding a passion later in life for a subject is rare, but excelling in a later-discovered passion is even rarer. It emphasizes Anoh’s academic talents and prowess.
Most students face challenges in their academic careers. Anoh relayed her struggles and emotional tolls throughout reaching success. She revealed how her strength is in biology, so as a biochemistry major, the chemistry was a mountain for her to climb and she needed help conquering it. She explained, “I get upset a lot in chemistry classes but I have my go-to professors and they let me be upset but tell me to calm down and try another approach.” Anoh takes the advice of her professors and finds satisfaction in discovering other routes to the challenges of her work.
Hard work has not only been a part of Anoh’s undergraduate career but so has been an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Anoh joyously spoke about a party she attended during her internship at Caltech University and how she met a man named Bill Clemons who was nominated to the Academy of Scientists. She articulated, “It’s a little surreal because I talk to him on a regular basis and it’s funny because I met him and had no idea what the scientific realm was like and I’m still figuring it out.” Realizing the uniqueness of accomplishments within a field is an amazing revelation for students to experience.
Dr. Patrick Lombardi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, had lots to say about Anoh’s capabilities and growth. Lombardi is not only proud of her growth but her overall career as a student and praised her attention to fine detail and her amazing ability to go beyond what is required of her and dig for deeper questions. Lombardi had a word of encouragement for Anoh saying, “I would encourage her to continue her work in creating opportunities for others. Rita has been instrumental in helping others get scholarships at MIT which is a remarkable thing for an undergrad.”
Anoh plans to live out Lombardi’s advice as she desires to use her doctorate to work in a lab and provide experiences for those not fortunate enough to have those experiences. Advocacy and excellence are what define her career as a biochemist.
Rita Anoh working hard in the lab
Photo by: Steph Stevens