Ezeani Oluchukwu Vivian is a 23-year old and 6th year Pharm.D student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
Why did you get into STEM?
Growing up, I always loved solving mathematical problems. My classmates would come to me for math tutorials and I was always happy to help, so when the moment came for me to choose a profession, what better way to help people than to look for solutions to the health issues in our environment. As a pharmacist, I am able to research into health-related problems to come up with scientific and technologically-driven solutions for the African community. STEM as a tool has helped me to inculcate my passion for research and problem solving into helping those around me.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement would be my undergraduate project research on the evaluation of the antipsychotic properties on extract of Morinda Longliflora, Psydrax Subcordata and Annona Senegalensis, all of which are common plants found in Ghana. This Research has added to the body of knowledge of use of medicinal plants found in the environment and has also brought about the need for more research into these plants.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?
Every field has its own challenges, but as a STEM woman, the problem I faced often was the general perception of STEM being a male-dominated field hence the needed attention to my contributions was not always given nonetheless I remained focused and persistent. Another challenge was the unavailability of advanced scientific and technological apparatus in carrying out my research but I was able to use collaborative means and indigenous technology to move forward.
What is your advice to budding women in STEM?
My advice to young women with a similar passion in solving problems and using technology in finding solutions is: never lose focus on your dreams and aspirations, we women have everything it takes to get it done. You can do it!!!