Outstanding Seniors in the College of Science: Ola Allababidi

Dec. 7, 2022
Ola Allababidi

This fall, departments in the University of Arizona's College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next up in the senior spotlight series is Ola Allababidi.

Ola Allababidi
Molecular & Cellular Biology

College of Science: Why did you choose your area of study?
Allababidi: When I first got accepted into the University of Arizona, I was undecided. I remember during orientation I chose Neuroscience and Cognitive Science because I wanted to pursue a science degree that I was unfamiliar with. I had a very strong understanding when it came to basic sciences, but neuroscience was obscure to me. I honestly picked a major that seemed to provide me the most growth in terms of new knowledge. After my general coursework, my interest peaked junior year, I realized how much I enjoyed the molecular aspect of my major’s emphasis, Neurobiology. I took some courses that went into the cellular mechanisms behind normal physiological functions and diseases. I was astounded by how much I enjoyed the content. The interest pushed me to want to also pursue a double major in Molecular and Cellular Biology as it served as a unique link between what I found interesting in neuroscience and physiological functions. I really enjoyed learning about both majors and seeing the connections between the content of classes that I took.

COS: Tell us about a class or research project you really enjoyed
Allababidi: A class that I really enjoyed would have to be MCB 473/573, Recombinant DNA Methods and Applications with Dr. Capaldi. I remember the first week of classes I was terrified because it had both graduate as well as undergraduate students, and that meant the stakes were higher than normal. It was also writing intensive which is not something I particularly enjoy. I liked the class because it combined application-based biology in a laboratory setting in addition to understanding what we were doing during the lab section of the course. Most lab courses associated with lectures have some disconnect but in this course everything we did in the lab; we were taught to understand. In addition to that, the class helped me combine ideas from other MCB classes that I have taken like MCB 181 because I was finally able to physically see what we were learning about, not just in theory but in a real-life application.

COS: What is one specific memory from your time at UA that you'll cherish forever?
Allababidi: I’ve thankfully had a lot of memorable experiences at the UA that I will carry forward, but one that I hold close to my heart is the first Party at Global that I attended. Party at Global is an event held every year by the International Student Services and the Global Ambassadors where both international and local students get to meet and talk. I remember the first one that I attended was one of the first times I truly felt at home at the UA. I got to talk to so many different and unique people that I call friends now. It also was a great push because it made me realize that I wanted to become a Global Ambassador and hold such events for other international students. It made me realize that I wasn’t the only one going through all these new experiences, and so I will always cherish that event and the people it led me to.

COS: What is next for you after graduation?
Allababidi: After graduation, I am going back home to visit my family and relax for a bit as I have not been able to do that since the start of college. I also just got accepted into Pharmacy School at the University of Arizona and will hopefully start my PharmD in Fall 2023! I am very excited as this paves my life for the next four years. My goal is to pursue Pharmacy in an inpatient hospital setting and then ultimately use the knowledge and skills I acquired in academia to expand my field of studies. I’m looking forward to joining Pharmacy School and can’t wait to come back to Arizona!