Ahmed Elsayed

Senior, Integrative Physiology
Graduated from George Washington High School in Denver, CO

My background starts in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. This is where my parents were born and the culture of this country and of the Muslim community is what influenced my upbringing. Once my parents reached their 20’s, they moved to the United States and had my first brother in New York, my second brother in Virginia, then my little brother and myself here in Denver, Colorado. Once my family came to Colorado we stayed here and haven’t moved since.

Denver is probably the best city I could imagine living in because it’s a very tranquil environment, there’s a huge amount of diversity within the city and as a member of Islam there are several communities established in the state that support our culture and religion. The nature and scenery here is beautiful and not to mention we have luxuries like clean air and water. Because of all these factors and the fact that our culture is very family-oriented, I wanted to go to a university that was in-state. I chose CU Boulder because it’s close to home but still far enough away for me to experience an independent lifestyle. The academic programs here are of high quality so I knew I could get one of the best educations here at CU Boulder. I’m also looking to go into the medical field and eventually I want to apply to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus here in Colorado.

I'm currently studying Integrative Physiology (IPHY) which is the study of the human body, all the processes that occur within our bodies, and the specifics behind these processes. Since I was a child I’ve always been so interested in the human body considering all the intrinsic qualities we have and how easily and quickly we can adapt to certain situations or environments. It’s crazy to think that there’s entire fields on engineering and creating all the infrastructure around the world or physics and astrology combined to explore the entire universe; and then there’s an entire field on just the human body. We’re so complex and the findings we gain about ourselves are never ending and can benefit all humanity. That’s another big factor for why I’m studying this, I’ve always wanted to help people in need regardless of who they are. I want to take that further and support whole communities with health care and hopefully even progress to having an impact across the world; my ultimate goal is to have a positive effect on societies worldwide.

What I love most about being with McNeill is they provide a community for me that I resonate with. In the years of growth prior to college, I feel that most of us have a community or school where we are recognized and we recognize others. When I came to CU Boulder that sense of community was hard to find in such a large campus and you see new people every day; I felt like a stranger. Sure, I had friends and we always had fun but I didn’t realize how much I was lacking a good community until I became active in the McNeill Program. Now I’m in an environment where I’m recognized and respected by all my peers and even my elders. This makes me a lot more comfortable here at CU Boulder and drives my motivation to complete my degree here; not to mention the program spoils me with all the free food we get and all the services they offer for us.

Aside from my participation in the McNeill Program, I also work there. We help with preparing events for the program such as Power Hours which are 2 hour sessions twice a semester that every McNeill student is required to go to. These sessions can provide academic, social and professional support for students through various activities organized by our coordinators in the program and the assistance of guest speakers from various fields in the professional world. The Power Hours are meant to enhance student success and student awareness in all aspects (social, academic, etc.). I’m also a peer mentor coordinator for the program; this role involves delegating and organizing tasks and events that the peer mentors host. We host fun social events like volleyball and hikes, organize campus tours for freshmen in the summer and we also offer beneficial workshops on topics such as housing and academic skills. I’m a mentor for my peers and our ultimate goal is to provide enough support and availability for students so they can reach their academic, social and personal goals successfully and comfortably. Aside from my involvement with McNeill, I usually hang out with family and friends, we like to be active and live a positive lifestyle.

What I love most about being at CU Boulder is there are multiple communities I’m involved in and in each community we all get along with each other and have a lot in common. There’s almost no one I can’t get along with in either McNeill or the IPHY department. We all have similar interests and goals which provides an overwhelming aura of positivity and growth. We all support each other and push each other towards a common goal; success in what we do.