Transforming into a leader and mentor
It’s hard to imagine how Ammaar Mohammed fit so much into just four years at Indiana University Northwest. The soon-to-be biology graduate, now headed to medical school at Marian University, has played many roles over the last few years: leader, mentor and researcher, among others.
In perhaps his most visible role on campus, Mohammed was elected as Student Government Association President. “My experience as SGA President has been incredibly rewarding,” he said, “I had the opportunity to serve the IUN community that has given so much to my growth.”
Among the many projects he worked on, Mohammed is particularly proud of a mental health initiative that brought a peer-led mental health group to campus. He’s also appreciative of the opportunities to make connections, on campus and off, which SGA presented.
“I connected with a lot of new students and faculty that have had an effect on teaching me how to be a better leader,” Mohammed said.
It’s clear his leadership efforts made an impact on the greater campus community. Many current undergraduate students said Mohammed was their mentor. Looking back, he believes the supportive environment at IU Northwest is key to a successful college experience, and he committed to paying it forward by making others feel like they belong.
“Whenever I encounter a new student, I make a conscious effort to include them,” Mohammed said. “It’s incredibly humbling to be seen as a mentor. It goes hand-in-hand with my career goals of being a physician.”
Leadership is certainly a crucial skill in the medical field, but Mohammed also has the practical knowledge to boot. During his time at IU Northwest, he spent plenty of time conducting research in the lab of Ming Gao, associate professor of biology.
“It provided me with a unique opportunity to apply the concepts I learned in my biology courses,” Mohammed said. “One of the most valuable outcomes of my involvement in the lab was the opportunity to present my research findings at the Genetics Society of America Conference held in Chicago.”
Mohammed said the conference gave him the chance to connect with like-minded individuals and hear from renowned professionals. He found their passion for science and discovery inspiring.
That inspiration certainly won’t go to waste as Mohammed moves on to medical school. Although his time at IU Northwest is ending, he’s grateful for the connections he established along the way.
“At IUN, the instructors are not merely teachers, but also friends and mentors,” he said. “This unique dynamic not only enriched my experience but also fostered a sense of community and support that proved indispensable during challenging times.”
Mohammed encourages all students to get involved and find their niche. While he described his past self as an introvert, he said the welcoming environment at IU Northwest helped him come out of his shell.
“Seize the opportunities that can be instrumental in shaping your future!” Mohammed said. “Remember, the campus community is eager to support you.”
While Mohammed will no longer physically be on campus every day, his dedication to supporting his peers, leadership and mentorship will echo for years to come.