Gideon Yeboah '13 plans to be a cardiothoracic surgeon one day. His email signature announces his goal, and Gideon is determined enough to get there. One of his favorite sayings is "Can't Never Could Until He Tried."
At Queens the Biology major often studied late into the night in the new science building, Rogers Hall. At one point he worked 39 hours a week on a research project about disinfectants and their effect on hospital infections. He hopes the paper he co-authored with his advisor, Dr. Patricia Koplas, will be published.
"Queens really taught me how to trust in my abilities, how to study, how to think outside the box and how to have fun while studying," Gideon said. "I will definitely be implementing these as I move forward in my career path."
Pushed to Succeed
In face-to-face interactions with professors, Gideon felt pushed to succeed. "They really, really care about you and your future," he said. "One thing I really love and appreciate about the faculty at Queens is they don't judge your intelligence based on your test results (even though they push you to excel); at the end of the day they judge you based on who you are as a whole and how hard you work."
"At Queens, the professors try to get that potential out of you. They push you hard but at the end, you look back and say ‘I didn’t know I could do it, but I did. I wonder what else I’m capable of?’"
- Gideon Yeboah ’13
Even though he worked hard, in his senior year Gideon decided it was time for some fun too. "I got this brilliant idea to take a horseback riding class," he said. Then the following semester he took two music classes: piano and saxophone. At first he was concerned his advisor Dr. Koplas might veto his plans, but instead she encouraged him. She said, "If not now, when?"
Gideon also encouraged others at Queens through his work as a student tutor in the Center for Student Success. He learned he had the patience and ability to help other students understand difficult concepts. That flexibility will come in handy when he's a physician. Having tutored every student as an individual, he feels he'll be better able to "treat each patient as an individual instead of a group or a disease category."
He's already had an opportunity to learn what it's like to be a doctor, through a spot in a prestigious summer enrichment program at UNC Chapel Hill for 50 pre-med students.
Since graduation, Gideon has been preparing to apply for medical school and - surprising even to him - managing eBay stores. "Who would have thought this bio major could actually run a business and do really well?" he mused. This winter, he and his family will travel to Ghana, from which they emigrated in 2002.