Kean University takes pride in its organizations and student leaders. With that being said, there are more than 160 student groups with a variety of eboard members. One of the clubs is the Pre-Medical Pre-Dental Association which strives to help members develop stronger leadership and communication skills.
Their eboard is made up of many dedicated and knowledgeable students such as president Al-Mujeeb Danmole, treasurer Diego Paredes, director of public relations Nevil Thomas, and secretary Keia Smith.
Fun facts about Smith:
- She is a good cook and cooks West Indian food
- She loves to read and has read Robin Cook books
Keia Smith, a sophomore studying biotechnology and also the secretary for the Pre-Medical Pre-Dental Association, explained the importance of the club.
"The Pre-Medical Pre-Dental Association is an organization whose main goal is to facilitate and provide resources to students interested in the medical and dental field. So basically we want to provide a space for those students to come together, interact with each other and get more information on what their career entails," said Smith.
This organization helps its members by providing them with conferences and networking opportunities with scientists, professors and medical school representatives.
"Annually, we have the biological health conference, which is going to be held later this month where we find a lot of scientists, professors, medical school representatives to come in and interact with the students. This gives the general public a better understanding of what they're going into when they go into the New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) field, or pre-med field," said Smith.
"This year we hope to launch another annual event, which is a health gala that focuses on networking for pre-med students. There will be doctors and physician assistants and we hope to host it. As far as general body meetings go, we have school representatives come in and other schools as well where we provide resources for students. For example, last semester we had a mock check-up session where we brought in all the instruments necessary for taking vital signs, eye check ups and body mass index (BMI)," said Smith.
Smith explained that as a member, she was asked to become a secretary where she later found her love for the club and its members.
"At first, I didn't really want to because I was shy, but after learning that it was a space for pre-med and dental students to come together ,I was hooked," Smith explained. "The application was really easy mostly because it was things relating to my general school life. For example, what activities were I involved in? It takes me no more than 30 minutes, and it was a week until I heard back. I really have a passion for helping others. As an aspiring doctor, I feel it's one of the major traits I should have. I think that passion really drove me to pursue that position, and I like interacting with people."
Smith understands that the position she's in allows her to develop and learn new skills that trickle to her academics.
"If you take up any eboard position and are serious about it, there are a lot of skills you could learn. Being secretary you have to be well-organized, have good time management, be a good note taker, but being able to document meetings has really helped me academically," said Smith. "Right now I am just working toward my degree and internships because I really want to pursue an internship. After graduation, I'm going into my one-year masters program where I get my masters and finally I will apply to medical school."
Smith hopes to find research that will be beneficial for cancer patients in the future.
"Right now I do cancer research and I am really interested in that. So I am looking toward something more in oncology and something related to cancer because it's a topic [near and dear] to my heart. I really want to make strives toward that aspect of research," said Smith.
Smith believes that the personal skills she acquired and the networking opportunities she has will prepare her in the medical field.
"The personal skills that I've acquired will help prepare me, and there are a lot of connections that I've made within the club. Recently, two of our eboard members got into pre-med graduate professions, and it would be very beneficial if they could share their tricks and methods with us," said Smith.
Smith is aware that Kean University has played a role in the development of her character, studies and duties for her club.