WSU senior Ridwan Alam was named a Tylenol Future Care Scholar, an award given to 40 students nationally pursuing careers in health care.
Wayne State University senior Ridwan Alam didn’t believe it when he checked the Website.
Despite his initial doubt, that was definitely his name among the select list of 40 college students from across the country awarded a 2012 Tylenol Future Care Scholarship.
“I was speechless. I saw my name on there and thought, ‘Wow.’ It’s a real honor to be selected as one of those 40 people,” he said.
He plans to use the $5,000 scholarship to help pay for medical school, which he expects to begin at the WSU School of Medicine next August as a member of the Class of 2017.
“It definitely helps me out,” he said. “This is a huge deal for me. This is definitely special.”
Alam is in his fourth year of WSU’s MedStart, an eight-year bachelor of science/medical degree program in collaboration with the Irvin D. Reid Honors College and the School of Medicine. Freshmen are guaranteed admission to the School of Medicine as long as continuation criteria are fulfilled. He expects to receive his undergraduate degree in Biology next year.
The 2012 Tylenol scholarship program awarded $250,000 in funds to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in health care. Scholars were selected based on leadership qualities, academic performance and community involvement.
“McNeil is proud to support these students, whose collective passions and goals align with our commitment to the future of healthcare,” said Denice Torres, president of McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the makers of Tylenol. “The 2012 class of Tylenol Future Care Scholars is an exceptional group of students, dedicated to a diverse variety of healthcare fields, including primary care, nursing, pharmacy, public health and health education.”
Alam also is a University Scholar on the undergraduate campus and has received two undergraduate research grants.
A passion for medicine runs in Alam’s family. His father, Shafiqul Alam, M.D., Ph.D., is an Internal Medicine physician in Rochester Hills. The younger Alam started volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Michigan while a junior at Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills. He has volunteered at the HUDA Free Clinic in Detroit since early 2010.
Alam is a published researcher, listed as a second author in a May 2010 article in Neuro-Oncology, the official journal of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. As a volunteer researcher for principal investigator and WSU Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology Sandra Rempel, Ph.D., at Henry Ford Hospital since June 2009, Alam works on a team that looks at proteins in brain tumors to predict and prevent tumor growth.
Despite his undergraduate experience in neuroscience, he will keep an open mind when he enters medical school, he said.“I really hope to find my specialty in medical school. I’m going to take whatever medical school has to offer,” he said. “The ability of the body to work as one cohesive machine absolutely blows my mind. It engages me to delve deeper into the subject and pursue my research interests, which will continue to be possible even as I become a physician.”