Student Spotlight: Vivian Kalu

12:00 AM

I'm excited to start off the "Student Spotlight" column. This column has two goals: celebrate students and showcase their goals/dreams. Speaking of dreams, did you miss my dreams for 2016? Go and catch up!

Without further ado, I'm ecstatic to introduce a God-fearing, self-motivated, hardworking, and inspiring young woman.....*Heavy Drum Rolls*...

 Vivian Nnenna Kalu

Nick name


Hometown, Country

 Abiriba, Nigeria


 Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina

Current Program, level, & year in school

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Chemistry; Senior

Tell us about Vivy?

I have a positive attitude towards things; I believe that’s where my faith comes into play. I can also display a great deal of flexibility in uncomfortable situations; my tolerance of stressful or changing environment gives me the ability to adapt effectively to them. These qualities help me remain persistent and often recover from setbacks.
On the fun side, I love traveling! You know what they say about all work and no play. So I have to balance both and life outside the ‘burg’ is never a dull moment for me.

Why did you choose your school?

I chose Claflin University because of the financial aid, awarded to me. I got accepted into two other schools in the US, but they were not as generous as Claflin University, who offered me a partial scholarship. Additionally, I had a cousin who had attended Claflin and an aunt in Orangeburg; so, it all seemed like a good plan.
 I was also awarded a full scholarship at the end of my freshman year because of my academic performance and I got accepted into the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.

What internships/jobs have you done?

- Peer Mentor, Claflin University Office of Panther STEPS
- Undergraduate Research Assistant, Claflin University Department of Biology
- Student Intern, South Carolina AHEC Summer Careers Academy
- 2014 Tier III Intern, Greenville Health System Medical Experience (MedEx) Academy
- 2015 Tier IV Intern, Greenville Health System Medical Experience (MedEx) Academy
- Research Intern, Claflin University Department of Biology

What is/are the highlight (s) of your student life?

- Receiving an acceptance into the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, as well as a full scholarship at the end of my freshman year. It was the perfect timing because my mum had just delivered twins, and my parents could take the tuition-bill off their list. Being an Honors College student has been an amazing journey. The College has challenged me to strive to excel, and dare to be different. I have learned to stand up courageous even in the midst of adversities. 

- Participating as a student volunteer on a mission trip to Panama, Central America in my sophomore year. The living conditions introduced to us were totally on a different level – we slept on bunk beds, had thin mattresses, pit toilets in bushes, literally lived with bugs etc. I learned a lot during the duration of this trip. Volunteering in Panama on a Global Medical/Dental Brigade was important to me because Panama had a disproportionately high infant and maternal mortality rate. I shadowed local Panamanian doctors challenged to care for about 116 patients seeking care at the clinic with limited resources. I am happy that I got this opportunity to provide medical care to the underprivileged natives of the Darién province community. This experience of serving underprivileged individuals, created a spark inside me to further pursue a career in medicine.

- Being an inducted member of the Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, Sigma Alpha Pi Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges in my junior year and receiving other academic awards.

What do you plan to do after your degree?

 I plan to attend a top tier medical school to pursue a medical degree. Being submerged in clinical observation and shadowing experiences have allowed me to witness firsthand the patient interaction, teamwork, commitment, challenges and rewards in medicine. Knowing that I can have not just a patient-doctor interaction but also a lifelong relationship with people whom I am devoted to, makes medicine a meaningful path for me.

What advice do you have for students and young people?

Be focused, have discipline and the right attitude. Academics are good but set your priorities, you are either in or out. You know, don’t mess around and don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. Set your goals, commit to them and continually move forward. Look for opportunities that can improve your path. Still dress classy and do well academically; be well rounded. Ultimately, believe in God. It’s been God all through the years and I owe it all to Him.

What three things do you carry with you all the time?

Self discipline – Positive attitude  – Social behavior

Contact Vivian at

I thoroughly enjoyed this feature. I hope you did too. Don't forget to comment and share on your social media platforms.

Are you a Student? If yes, WSW would LOVE to Celebrate and Showcase you. Contact me at for more information.

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