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Michelle Asuquo

Michelle Asuquo - Aspiring Scientist and Traveling Nurse 

Shaw University sophomore Michelle Asuquo presented at the Emerging Research National Conference that took place February 22-24, 2018, in Washington, DC. The conference is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the National Science Foundation’s Human Resource Development Unit, which aims to strengthen STEM resources for underserved communities.

“Michelle is among our brightest students in the chemistry program. I am so proud of her,” said Dr. Angela Allen, the chemistry program coordinator and Michelle’s advisor. “I expressed to her day one that I have high expectations for the students in this major, and she is living up to them. I cannot wait to see all the possible opportunities that await her and all of Shaw’s chemistry majors.”

Michelle presented ‘Analyzing the Effectiveness of Graphene Membranes: A molecular dynamics study.’ If you have no idea what that means, you’re not alone.

Basically, Michelle is looking at how we might be able to desalinate water in the future. To do this, she’s modeling simulations of various pore sizes of something called ‘graphene membranes.’

The gist is this: increasing environmental pollution caused by industry and population growth is affecting the quality of water in some places, and studying this phenomenon may unlock the key to purifying water supplies in the future.

The Emerging Research National Conference is meant to help students enhance their science communication skills, as well as educate them on how to prepare for science careers in a global workforce.

Michelle also presented at the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers conference in Minnesota last semester.

Michelle is originally from Nigeria and moved to North Carolina to continue her education. She plans on eventually attending nursing school.

“I love to help people,” says Michelle. “That’s what I do. I’m thinking about becoming a traveling nurse. I would love to travel around the world and help people in different places.”

Michelle’s advice for other aspiring women scientists?

“Believe in yourself no matter what,” she says. “Do not give up.”

To celebrate Women’s History Month, throughout the month of March, Shaw University will be profiling some of our amazing students, faculty and alumnae.