The fall semester is in full swing at Alabama’s colleges and universities and we’ve got some awesome new interns to introduce! Last week we introduced you to fall intern Vaishali Nijampatnam, a junior at UAB majoring in biomedical engineering. Today, we’d like you to meet Kenneth Paik, who is also interning with GASP through UAB’s Academic Small Business Alliance internship program. Kenneth is a pre-med student majoring in biomedical sciences at UAB.
What is your major at UAB and why did you choose it?
I always favored the idea of pursing science into a career that provides practical application, whether it be healthcare or research. The Biomedical Sciences program gave me an understanding of what that may look like. Class topics range anywhere from the basic fundamentals of genetics of the human body to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes it takes to provide health services. Having this sort of background definitely helps strengthen my goal with healthcare.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
I am hoping to be able to travel much more after I graduate. Visiting and experiencing new cultures and languages has always been an interest of mine. I also hope to be in graduate school by then.
What is your dream job?
I first tell people what’s my parent’s goal for me—to become a doctor or dentist. But to simply state it, I want to serve the disadvantaged. Anything related with the fact that people are suffering, hurting, or struggling reminds me that there is more than just myself to take care of. Briefly speaking, my dream job isn’t anything specific, but to simply provide care for others.
What do you hope to learn while volunteering with GASP?
I believe GASP will encourage me to strive for higher ends. In a non-profit organization there is always a targeted goal. It’s all about the general population, making people safer, healthier, and happier. Hopefully, working as an intern here will help me gain a better sense of that.
Why is our mission to reduce air pollution important to you?
Moving out of the house and living on my own made me realize the importance of taking care of myself. That also includes the type of environment that I live in. GASP advocates for a safer and healthier community in the Birmingham area by improving the air quality that helps benefit the lifestyles of people from every background.
What is your favorite food?
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy playing soccer, walking, running, and exercising. I also like to play guitar and sing.
Who or what are your influences?
My influences mainly come from my parents. They continuously encourage me to work hard and I accredit them for all of my accomplishments. They also teach me to appreciate the little things in life while tackling big goals on a day to day basis.
What are some other fun facts about yourself?
Though I’ve played sports my entire life, I’ve never broken, sprained, or bruised any bone in my body. Also, I come from three different ethnic backgrounds: Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese.
Michael joined GASP in 2013 as communications specialist. He has lived in Birmingham since 2008, and is an active member of the Birmingham community. He’s a passionate advocate for health equity, civil rights and equality. He is currently serving as executive director. Email Michael