Kwasi Adu-Berchie is no ordinary MSU graduate. Coming to study at Michigan State in 2011 from the cultural capitol of Ghana, adjusting to U.S. culture could have been difficult, not to mention the hard classes he was taking at MSU.
Not only did Adu-Berchie thrive as a chemical engineering student, achieving almost a 4.0 cumulative grade point average, but also he immersed himself in campus life, made many international and domestic friends, got involved in student groups such as the African Student’s Union, and also worked at a chemical engineering lab on campus. And along with all of this, Adu-Berchie assured me he still has time to sleep.
“Every major is hard. It’s just a matter of how passionate you are to complete it,” Adu-Berchie said. “And also being a part of society and my school helped me do well.”
Some of his tips for other international students at MSU were to really make an effort to do well in your first semester because otherwise it is easy for your academic motivation to go down. Another tip was to make friends with domestic students because it helps with practicing English, which is important to your academic success. The last tip was to enjoy your classes and be positive.
“I traveled many miles, so I knew I was going to make the most out of my classes. I always tried to be positive,” Adu-Berchie said.
Adu-Berchie recently received the Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize, which honors an outstanding senior and awards them grant money for future growth. He said he was honored to receive the award and that he appreciated others seeing the effort he was putting in at MSU.
“I have a drive to impact the lives of others. College life isn’t all about academics, it’s also about the passion you have to pursue problems in the world,” Adu-Berchie said.
He stressed that getting involved with other organizations such as the African Student’s Union helped him succeed with his academics. Adu-Berchie wrote two plays for this group and the plays focused mainly on clearing stereotypes. He said he wanted to use his talents to promote society. He said instead of being angry with the stereotypes people had, he channeled this energy into his writing.
At his time here at MSU, Adu-Berchie also got to attend a national institute of health though the engineering lab he works for, study abroad to the UK and also go to Durban, South Africa on a trip designed to help those with HIV/AIDS. He was also an RA here for two years and participated in campus crusade. Adu-Berchie said all of these activities really motivated his time spent studying and hitting the books, because time management is key.
When asked what he will miss most about MSU, he smiled and responded, “the people.”
“The people make the place. I have had great connections and great friendships and I wouldn’t have had the same experience without the people that I met at MSU,” Adu-Berchie said.
He also mentioned that he would miss relaxing by the Red Cedar on a nice day. Adu-Berchie said that if he had to do anything different, he would get involved with the Lansing community more, instead of just East Lansing/MSU. He said that he also would have loved to do more service projects, because he feels that there is always more that can be done.
Adu-Berchie’s next step is to take a year off and work in a lab, researching a cancer drug. He then plans to go to graduate school for chemical engineering and continue writing about his passions—politics, love and religion.
“I believe everyone has potential and a niche in society. There is always a change you can bring society and I have grown up knowing I have potential,” Adu-Berchie said. “We all have to realize our potential in order to move society forward.”