Tamariya Hall, a graduate of the Biomedical Science and Enterprise bachelor’s degree program in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences and an Honors College student, made service to others a priority by volunteering to help those in need and participating in social justice movements.
By LaTina Emerson
Although Tamariya Hall had a hectic schedule between her classes and fulfilling the prerequisites for dental school, she still made time to volunteer for charitable causes and stand up for social justice issues during her education at Georgia State.
Before the pandemic, the graduate from the Biomedical Science and Enterprise bachelor’s program in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences and the Honors College, partnered with other students to prepare sandwiches and bags of chips for the homeless population at Woodruff Park every other Friday. She also participated in food, clothing and toy drives hosted by the university’s science and pre-med organizations.
“Helping the homeless and my community with toy, food and clothing drives is something I have always done since I was a little girl,” Hall said. “I decided to participate on campus with preparing meals for the homeless because I wanted to. I felt good knowing that I was making some of their days or that they were just happy to have a meal for later. It may not be much, but at least they know that someone is thinking of them.”
Hall has also lent her voice and time to social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter and women’s issues. Participating in the Black Lives Matter movement was important to Hall because she is a young, black woman who belongs to a large Black family.
“The problems this movement addresses greatly impact my life and my future,” Hall said.
She joined in some of the Atlanta protests in 2014 after her father got involved and has continued to participate over the years with the most recent protests. In addition, she began participating in many women’s movements after taking a course called “WomenLead in Science,” in which she learned about issues women face in the workplace, such as dealing with gender pay gap, being less likely to be promoted and having to do more to compete for jobs. She also feels strongly about the fight for women’s reproductive rights.
“It’s really frustrating seeing the difficulties that women face on a daily basis,” Hall said. “As a woman, I feel like it’s my job to help fight for what we deserve.”
Hall made helping others a priority, amid her own challenges to maneuver the university system. The Douglasville, Ga., native is the second of her five siblings to graduate from college and the first to pursue a science, medicine or research career. Her goal is to become a pediatric dentist.
“I dream of starting my own private practice and creating a wonderful environment to make kids feel a little less scared at the dental office,” Hall said.
She has made the Dean’s List every semester since freshman year and has completed the Dental Admissions Test. She’s applying to dental school and hopes to receive news of acceptance in early 2022.
Hall changed majors a few times. She started off as a business major and then switched to biochemistry because she thought she wanted to work in vaccine development, but she discovered those weren’t the paths she wanted to take.
“Finally, I found Biomedical Sciences and Enterprise, which just felt like an excellent fit for me,” Hall said. “I chose it because it was interdisciplinary. I felt like I would have exposure to more than one path in the sciences. I liked that it was a bit of entrepreneurship, law, business and science. I also liked that I could tailor the classes to fit my needs and interests.”
The degree program offered classes that will help Hall fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams.
“I took several entrepreneurship courses and business courses for entrepreneurs,” Hall said. “These courses were very helpful in getting me to think about what would be needed for my private practice and what things I would need in place before even pursuing that. I’ve learned a great deal about the basics such as entity type, how to prepare a business model, how to validate that business model, contracts needed to protect my business and so much more.”