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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Sango Asante graduation photo
  • Sango Asante at a sporting event

Alumni Spotlight: Sango Asante

Completing an honors degree in biochemistry and molecular biology didn't just help Sango Asante matriculate into medical school, but also helped him show how hard work and dedication can bring success both in and outside of the classroom.

My pursuit towards medical school started at a very young age.  A fall off of my parent’s roof landed me a one way ticket to the emergency room.  It was an awful accident, but getting to experience the intense and chaotic ambiance of a hospital for the first time was well worth the pain.  From then on, my mind was set on a career in medicine.

After I toured the University of South Carolina for the first time, my college decision became easy.  I had heard so many great things about the university but seeing it in person was mesmerizing.  After I left, I desperately wanted to be a gamecock. Looking back, the defining moment that set up my college career was Professor Dukes addressing our chemistry 111 section for the first time.  He asked the class how many of us wanted to go to medical school, and eagerly, about 85% of a 200 person lecture class raised their hand.  He told a third of us to put our hands down, and then proceeded to tells us that this was roughly the amount of students who would switch their majors within the coming semesters.  Then, he again told another third of us to put our hands down and said that this would roughly be the amount of students who would actually apply. Lastly, he told about 60% of the remaining students to put their hands down and said that this would roughly be the amount of us who actually get in.  He said that college is hard, but medical school is harder, and the journey starts from this moment on.  As I looked around and heard those words, I was determined to be one of those last few hands.  Prof. Dukes has played a monumental role in my success at Carolina.  He has encouraged me, took the time to truly get to know me, and has inspired me to be the best doctor I can be.  I can’t thank him enough.

I have had many outstanding professors here at South Carolina, but my honors organic chemistry Professor, Chaunbing Tang, was exceptional.  His class challenged me beyond belief, but most importantly, it taught me how to think in ways that I was previously unfamiliar with.  Prof. Tang taught me a lot about the field of chemistry, and gave me the confidence to take on the demands of my rigorous major, and for that, I am forever grateful.

When my head wasn’t in the books however, I had an active role in many outside activities.  I completed four years of varsity track and field, worked as a resident mentor in East Quad, was a member of the South Carolina Honors College, completed summer research at MUSC, and was a member of the honors pre-medical fraternity Alpha Epsilon Delta.  I also worked part-time at the Columbia Melting Pot.  My involvement in these activities lead me to become a 2013 USA Junior National Qualifier in the 3000m steeplechase, a 3x SEC All-Academic team member, a 2014 Track and Field Coaches award recipient, a 2014 Stand up Carolina Hero award recipient, a 2016 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities, and a 2016 Outstanding senior.  None of which, would have been possible without the tremendous help and support that this department and its staff have given me.  This has been the most challenging, yet rewarding, four years of my life, and I will always be thankful for the opportunities that this great university has given me.

I will be attending the Medical University of South Carolina in the fall of 2016 to begin my doctorate of medicine studies in hopes of eventually becoming a Cardiothoracic Surgeon.  I would like to thank my family and friends for the tremendous love and support you have always shown me, the track and field coaching staff for believing in my dreams and helping to make them a reality,

the USC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for providing me with the tools and opportunities to learn from world renowned professors

and President Harris Pastides for being someone I’ve come to know and deeply respect in my time here at Carolina.  You will truly be missed! Thank you again Carolina for giving me the best four years of my life.  It will ALWAYS be a great day to be a gamecock.

Lastly, in the words of Ray Tanner, “The only time Success comes before Work Ethic, is in the dictionary.”

Stay Cocky, and Forever to Thee my friends,

Sango Asante
Class of 2016