My name is GeZhi Liu, and I was born and raised in the southern part of China. I came to the United States in 2017 when I was in high school and upon my arrival, I was placed into the ESOL program. Despite not knowing any English when I started, I graduated in three years and was part of a nursing program my senior year. In the fall of 2020, I started my higher education journey at Frederick Community College (FCC). After receiving honors at FCC, I was later accepted into the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) which is a guaranteed enrollment offer for the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) after obtaining an associate's degree. Ever since I arrived in the U.S., the University of Maryland has been my dream school. But in the interest of choosing the best fit for me, I chose to study at UMD on the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) campus, where I am now majoring in Biological Sciences.
The first time I heard about USG was from a previous student ambassador, Jordan Powe. She was a graduate of FCC’s Biological Science program and my club advisor shared her contact information with me. I invited her to join one of my Biology and Pre-health club meetings while I was at FCC and her introduction to USG was what really inspired me to learn more about the campus. She explained several benefits that I just knew would be valuable to me as a student — not only would I be able to attend college closer to home, but I’d be able to take advantage of double the scholarships (those offered by UMD and USG). Additionally, I felt that the smaller class sizes would make it easier for me to connect with my peers and professors.
As a biological sciences student, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many lab studies. Most notably, I worked on one that looked at the effects of berberine products on HIV-1, and another that looked at how mutation in the D1 domain of CD4 receptor modulates the binding affinity to HIV-1 glycoprotein 120. I had the honor of putting my name on both of these studies which ended up being collected by the Science Citation Index and published in two scientific journal publications, AMB Express and RSC Advances.
Outside of my studies, I have been part of the USG Student Ambassador Program and have served as a volunteer at Frederick Memorial Hospital. I chose to become a student ambassador because I want to help guide prospective students on their transfer pathways, just as Jordan guided me when I was at FCC.
My anticipated graduation date is May 2024. Before then, I hope to land more local laboratory internships. My long-term career goal is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. I want to help people who suffer from cardiothoracic diseases, because I’ve had to witness my significant other suffer from pneumonia. Unfortunately, I had to watch her go through the pain alone numerous times, and so I hope to be able to one day help people who need this kind of medical attention.