Welcome to the first instalment of our RA Spotlight series! This week, get to know more about Resident Assistant Kojo from UTown Residences. When not doing his RA rounds or bonding with UTR residents, the Ghana-born researcher is busy performing experiments and TA duties at the NUS Department of Biological Sciences.
How long have you been here, and what do you like best about Singapore?
I have been in Singapore for approximately 9 months and without much effort I can say that Singlish is one of the outstandingly interesting things I like about Singapore. The language is beautiful and it has created a unique identity for Singapore.
What do you miss most about your country?
My family, the food and the people.
I hear you are a researcher at NUS. Tell us more about your work.
I am a biochemistry scientist who is now pursuing a PhD in cell and molecular biology with a focus on inflammation. With the continuous springing up of fast food joints and a plethora of correlative study linking metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity to hydrogenated fat, my work seeks to mechanistically establish the observation. Our lab also has plans of designing treatment regimens.
My work schedule is very packed; I have to perform lab experiments, fulfil my TA duties and complete my course work. However, pursuing a PhD is one of my life goals, hence, I approach the stress with joy each time it tries to weigh me down. So far, I think I have handled the pressure well.
What other activities occupy your free time?
My most preferred informal activity is meeting up with friends and catching up over dinner or lunch with a good laughter. The nature of my activities permits very little time for friends, so I try as much as possible to spend time with them provided we are free.
How do you manage your time working for NUS and as an RA?
I like to plan my activities for the following day before I go to bed so I am not overwhelmed with the work load the next day. One thing I know is that the work never ends; therefore, I have made a point to have at least Sundays to myself. I make sure I don’t have to work on weekends, unless it’s really important. Planning makes time management very easy for me
What’s next for Kojo?
Hopping around the world with hopes of advancing my scientific career and developing myself personally. I would love to integrate with as many cultures as possible before ultimately settling back in my country, Ghana. I have a long held dream of giving back to my community and country at large through an NGO sometime in the future. But for now, I’d love to travel around and learn all I can about this very intricate world.