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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I had the opportunity to sit down with Barbara L. Jones, a social justice activist in the Detroit community who lived with and was mentored by Grace Lee Boggs.
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.