With big dreams to live in New York City, Nigerian-born student Solomon Amadiume researched CUNY, City University of New York, schools. After a suggestion from his mother to “broaden his horizons,” Amadiume decided to add two SUNY schools to his list.
“I looked at Oswego and Purchase, two weeks I later started filling out applications.”
When an unexpected acceptance letter from Plattsburgh State arrived, he realized he was going to be a little farther away from the excitement of Rockefeller Center and Time Square than he originally thought.
“I opened my acceptance letter package and everything and was like, I should check the distance one last time” Amadiume said. When realized it was an eight hour bus ride, he asked himself “what did I do?”
Realizing he was trading breakfast at Tiffany’s for brunch at Bagel Pit, he searched for the flaw in his actions.
“There’s a drop down menu with the list of the SUNY campuses and I remembered that the name of the school started with a “P,” but I was too lazy to look at all of them again. I was like, I know it isn’t Potsdam or New Paltz so that narrowed it to Purchase or Plattsburgh and I chose Plattsburgh on accident.”
Amadiume is a biology major with minors in both French and chemistry.
Amadiume has definitely made his mark on PSUC. A friend and fellow senior biology student, Steven Segarra enjoys the positive impact that Amadiume has had on the Pre-Med Association on campus.
“Historically, the pre-med club on this campus hasn’t been very active, but he is taking the reins and leading it in another direction,” Segarra said.
He said Amadiume is getting the club more involved on campus by doing things, such as scheduling events and taking the initiative to get other students in the club to be more active.
Segarra said he met Amadiume last year in the Learning Center, where the biology students were frequent visitors.
“I would be studying with my group of friends, and he would come over and help us out. that’s just who he is,” Segarra said.
Amadiume was born in Nigeria, grew up in Kenya and moved to Mauritius, Africa, where he would spend seven years before going back to Nigeria for a year before he made the journey to the United States to continue his education at PSUC.
He always wanted “the traditional college experience,” and PSUC ended up being the perfect fit.
“They gave me a pretty good scholarship, so my mom didn’t really see anything else outside of that,” Amadiume said.
His mother used that information to convince him to choose PSUC as his new home.
“Why did I choose my major? That’s another funny story.”
“When I moved to Mauritius, I was exposed to many new things and experiences,” he said. “I realized that I was pretty good at art and photography so I was really leaning toward architecture, interior or graphic design—something along those lines.”
He said his mother was disappointed with him for considering those careers.
“Growing up in an African family, there’s expectations,” he said. “You’re expected to either be an engineer or a doctor or in business, but nothing outside of that.”
“She loved that concept, she was like ‘yes, okay good! My African child.’”
He said and went on to talk about what inspired him to choose that career path.
He talked about a friend he had during the seven years he spent in Mauritius and how she enjoyed watching the show Grey’s Anatomy.
“I didn’t really care for the show at first,” he said. “But after I sat down one day and really watched a few episodes, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
“The show is crazy, every episode is very dramatic, but seeing the characters make a huge difference in someone’s life really made me think,” he said.
“I knew that the show wasn’t real,” he said. “But I remember that feeling of wanting to help people and doing things and just being in the business of helping others.”
Professor Rajesh Sunasee met Amadiume last semsester through his research lab. Sunasee said Amadiume was the student who is never late for his research. He had only positive things to say about Amadiume.
“Solomon is very careful with his research, a very focused student I would say,” Sunasee said.
Friend and senior Dejhy Pyram said Amadiume is dynamic, intelligent and kind.
The fellow biology major met Amadiume the spring of her freshman through a mutual friend. She said they share too many memories to have a favorite.
Amadiume has excelled academically here at SUNY Plattsburgh and will graduate with a degree in biology in December. Upon graduating, Amadiume plans to attend graduate school for biotechnology for a year before applying to medical school.
Email Madison Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org