When Osama Musa was in the first grade, he fell in love with science and math. Because of his interest and the encouragement he received from teachers, he kept seeking knowledge. By the age of 16, he knew that he wanted to be a chemist. He majored in organic chemistry during his undergraduate career and completed a masters in chemistry before coming to Wayne State University for his Ph.D. Musa is a passionate chemist who now encourages young scientists across the world to engage in innovative practices. He is a member of the Board of Advisors in Manhattan College’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as vice president and chief technology officer at Ashland Inc.
“Wayne State’s organic chemistry program is one of a kind, and really allowed me to advance my knowledge and open new opportunities,” Musa said.
After earning his Ph.D., Musa spent a year as a postdoctoral research assistant at WSU. During this time he was also a teaching assistant and received multiple awards for his work. Musa was then given the opportunity to be a project supervisor. He took the position after his research at WSU was over, and his innovative practices and passion in organic chemistry ultimately allowed him to hold multiple leadership roles in the world of science.
“Wayne State gave me excellent leadership skills and a great work ethic,” he said. “People asked me where I learned everything; I obtained all this knowledge during my time at Wayne State”
Musa now gives leadership talks to universities and research facilities throughout the world. He is passionate about sharing skills with others to help them become inspiring leaders. He advises current Wayne State students to strive to learn more about their disciplines and areas of interest, reach out to peers and professors, and seek knowledge and new experiences. Beyond the lab, Musa enjoys traveling the world and has had the opportunity to collaborate with scientists abroad.
“The leadership skills and collaboration among professors at Wayne State made me confident. The encouragement I received from my peers and professors made it possible for me to strive to always be the best I can be,” he said.
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On top of Wayne State’s Science Hall is a greenhouse that had not been used for about 10 years. That greenhouse is now home to the Biodiversity Network. The new student organization has reclaimed the space as a spot for urban ecologists, gardening enthusiasts, and those curious about food systems and starting a garden. Here, students are able to help grow vegetables, herbs, native plants — and new relationships.
The Biodiversity Network was created by undergraduate biochemistry student Stathis Pauls and urban planning graduate students Adam Pruitt and Natalie Lyons. Michelle Serryn, the lab coordinator for the biology department, is the faculty member involved in the Biodiversity Network. With the collaboration of Pruitt and Serryn, the greenhouse was transformed into the new space for the Biodiversity Network,
“Really, we want the space to be a place for people to collaborate and share their knowledge and passions,” said Pruitt while cleaning out a tank that will soon be the home for mantids.
The greenhouse is bustling with life. Members of the organization mix soil, plant transplants, help raise mantids and honey bees, and grow food. “Our hope in creating the Biodiversity Network was that people throughout campus and the Detroit community would be able to come together to learn about organic urban gardening and food systems,” said Pauls.
The group has already successfully started growing herbs and vegetables in the greenhouse.
“Once all our transplants are ready, we will move them to Warrior Garden, then the food we grow will be shared with the student organizations such as Students Feeding Students and the Wayne State food pantry.” said Lyons.
Written by CLAS communications associate Christiana Castillo
March 22, 2017.
There has been a terrorist attack in France. There has been a bombing in Istanbul that left 23 people dead. The world is in a tragic and heart breaking place, all over. Today I want to share some good news, some chances for positivity and great change.
Freedom House, which is located in SouthWest Detroit Michigan recently had their funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development cut off, but as of today, March 22, 2017 it has been restored! If you are not familiar with Freedom House, FH exists to give asylum seekers a safe place. They help those who were in persecution gain access to psychological and physical care, they help provide food, career building opportunities, and English language learning courses.
Freedom House gained $329,943 from donations and events put on by community members that realize how essential their existence is for new beginnings for asylum seekers. Here is a link to help understand the urgency needed to continue donations is http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/neal-rubin/2017/02/15/detroits-freedom-house-may-close/97975138/
Freedom House will use its extra funds to ensure even more resources and possible staff members to their community.
During the first two months of 2017 there have been seven reported killings within the transgender community. Two of these deaths occurred within 48 hours of each other during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. One death is one death too many, and the oppression of the transgender community needs to be a spotlight in our current society. With Trump’s administration making significant steps backwards for the rights and human security of the trans community, I feel that it is crucial to stress the importance of empathy for all people, especially the trans community. Most of the deaths that have occurred have been transpeople of color. I have heard comments that express the trans community as being attention seekers. Here is a short video explaining the Hijra, an ancient type of trans/third gender culture in India. The Hijra takes it’s influences from the Hindu goddess Bachuchara Mata. A goddess that was honored and considered Hijra. When India was colonized, Hijra people became outcasts. I bring this up to remind us all of the profound depth that trans culture has, and hopefully to expand one’s open mindedness to trans culture.
Two days ago it was the five year anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. An unarmed seventeen year old teenager was killed by a volunteer neighborhood watch guard, George Zimmerman. Zimmerman walked away from the case with no charges, no repercussions for murder. This is not the first case of a black person being killed and there being no justice in United States History and it was not the last, sadly. Despite the heartbreak and injustice, it is essential to move forward and bring awareness to these issues.
All Things Considered host Audie Cornish was able to interview Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. The podcast is titled “Black Lives Matter Finds ‘Renewed Focus’ 5 Years After Trayvon Martin” and explores the growth of the BLM movement over the course of the past five years.
Khan-Cullors believes that the movement is becoming less reactionary and more productive, but believes that there needs to be more long term goals, including BLM supporters possibly being in office.
This podcast from NPR was hard to listen to because Trayvon Martin’s death should have never happened, but it was comforting to hear Khan-Cullors speak about the BLM with courage and a hopeful attitude towards the future.
Here is a podcast from the NPR Morning Edition show called “Your Family May Once Have Been A Different Color”. This podcast dissects the possibilities of the different skin colors your ancestors may have had, beyond interracial marriages. This podcast from 2009 which is only seven minutes and twelve seconds long is still relevant, especially today. This podcast explains how humans can re-evolve their skin colors from light to dark or darker to lighter skin. Human evolution has both high and slow rates of change that affects skin colors. Skin color is not fixed, it is fluid. It is a part of evolution. It is not an indicator of someones character. I am hoping that with a greater understanding of the science of our skin colors, there will be less reasons for people to be racist or bigoted because one’s melanin.
Snap Judgment released a podcast titled “The Rabbi and the KKK”. I don’t want give away the whole true story, but a Jewish family moved into a new neighborhood, and was verbally threatened by a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) group. The father of the home was also a Rabbi. He took it upon himself to frequently call a KKK member named Larry Trap and ask him over voicemail why he did the terrifying things he did.
“I want to get out of what I’m doing but I don’t know how” Larry, the KKK member to the Rabbi.
My whole point in posting this particular podcast is to show that despite our current political climate, and with a resurgence of the KKK, is it is possible for people to change both their minds and actions to choose love. I am hoping that this podcast inspires others to communicate with and know their neighbors, be open minded, and to not be discouraged.