NESCAC Friday Feature: Christina Nwankpa - Tufts

Christina Nwankpa, Tufts

The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes. The "Friday Feature" series is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Christina Nwankpa of Tufts, a biopsychology major, and a member of the volleyball team.

Christina Nwankpa, Tufts Christina Nwankpa, Tufts
Senior, Volleyball
Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock HS
Major: Biopsychology

Why did you choose to attend Tufts? 
I chose to go to Tufts because I wanted to continue playing volleyball at a high level without compromising my academic goals. Tufts had the perfect combination of academic rigor, hardworking athletic community, and the flourishing city of Boston. Being 15 minutes from Boston brings great opportunities to explore and try new things.

Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete? 
I wanted to be a Division III athlete because I felt like I could have a full college experience. Being a Division III athlete allows me to be dedicated to my sport but still gives me the time to explore other interests of mine.

What is the best thing about being part of the NESCAC?
The NESCAC shows so much support and respect for each other. Regardless of the school you are representing, we are always cheering each other on. It is like one giant family!

What is your dream job/career? 
My dream career is to be an OBGYN specifically focused on female health issues in women from lower socioeconomic statuses. I have always been interested in medicine especially pregnancy. I believe that all women should be privy to the basic medical practices to better their health, regardless of where they come from.

What are three top things on your bucket list
My top three things on my bucket list are to go on a medical mission, tour southeast Asia, and to see the seven wonders of the world.

Who is your favorite professor? 
My favorite professor is Professor Joshua Kritzer. He took a difficult subject, organic chemistry, and broke it down for everyone to understand. He was patient and extremely accommodating towards me which allowed me to absorb a lot of information quickly.

Have you studied abroad during your collegiate experience?
I went to Australia this past spring! I was studying in Sydney and took a variety of courses but focused on finishing the psychology part of my degree. My time in Australia allowed me to see how another country delivers education, explore the various beaches, and see all the crazy wildlife!

What internships/research projects have you participated in?
I have done research at the University of Texas where I focused on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in zebrafish. I have also done research at NYU Medical School where I worked with microscope worms to determine which proteins are responsible for cell division and specialization in early embryonic development. Working in these labs has taught me to be a better team member and accepting when things don’t go your way. With science experiments, everything is trial and error, so you have to be able to keep pushing on.

What is the best gift you have ever received or gave? 
The best gift I have ever been given was a ring from my mother. She wore this ring that I admired all throughout my childhood. Once I got to high school she gave me the ring and every time I wear it I immediately feel closer to her. Having this ring really helped with the homesickness when I moved away for college

What is something interesting about you that others might not know?
My parents meet here in the states but are both from Nigerian. Because of this, my first language is Igbo. I actually didn’t learn proper English until I started kindergarten.