Name: Odmaa Bayaraa
Home Country: Mongolia
Odmaa Bayaraa still gets nervous thinking how she almost did not study at NYU Abu Dhabi. For her, the journey to Commencement began with an invitation to Candidate Weekend that she found in the spam folder of her email four years ago.
Bayaraa learned more about NYUAD from current students and school counselors. During Candidate Weekend, while speaking to upperclassmen about their own experiences, Bayaraa really felt the love they had for the University and the great memories they had made in their time here. To her, it spoke volumes.
weSTEM and Research
Passionate about the sciences, Bayaraa joined Women in STEM (weSTEM), a student interest group created to encourage and increase the number of women pursuing careers and degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It was a great way for Bayaraa to connect with her peers in science. Strong friendships were formed and she still keeps in touch with alumni from weSTEM to this day. “They gave great advice as they paved the way before me and I love that through weSTEM I can continue to build the community on campus and welcome underclassmen myself,” said Bayaraa, who became co-president of weSTEM.
NYUAD created an entry into research for Bayaraa, who got involved by emailing science professors, sitting in lab meetings, and exploring new scientific fields and disciplines, until she discovered her passion for genetics. Professors and researchers who take on undergraduate students are very patient and understanding of their varied backgrounds.
I love the fact that the scientific community here understands that you may not have had the opportunity to engage in research before coming to NYUAD.
While preparing for the 2021 American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) research conference with Assistant Professor of Biology Youssef Idaghdour at the Idaghdour Lab for Environmental Genomics, Bayaraa found out she had been invited to give a talk about her research. Having her work competitively selected for the conference provided a great learning experience. Members of the lab were an integral part of her undergraduate journey and she is grateful for the support they offered. “It’s a great environment to learn, especially for someone who is entering the field and interested in pursuing a career in science,” Bayaraa said. Bayaraa will be attending Duke University in the US to start her PhD studies in genetics and genomics after graduation.