MURRAY, Ky. — Imani Oliver of St. Louis, Missouri, will graduate from Murray State University May 11 with a bachelor’s degree in not one, but two different majors: chemistry and mathematics.
As a Dr. Marvin D. Mills Scholar, Oliver has made her mark in academics and the Racer community as a whole. Oliver has served as a member of the Murray State Emerging Scholars Institute and the Delta Sigma Sorority, served on the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence leadership team and also helped to found the Radiant Racerettes — just to name a few bullet points on her résumé.
With a job in the finance department at AT&T headquarters in Dallas, Texas, firmly in her sights, we asked Oliver to reflect on her Murray State experience.
Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?
My mother has always been my biggest influence. She inspires me to always do my best, push myself and strive to be better than average.
What first sparked your interest in your chosen field?
I chose chemistry because I was originally interested in a pharmacy major. I have a lot of medical professionals in my family, and I was interested in taking the same path. However, I have always been good with numbers, which ultimately led me to my mathematics major.
Why did you select Murray State?
I received a full scholarship through the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence. Murray was also not too close but not too far from home, and it felt like a friendly and safe environment: a home away from home.
Who is one of your favorite professors and why?
One of my favorite professors is Dr. Craig Collins. He is super nice, lenient and always available to help. He makes it clear that his students are his main priority.
What is one of your favorite Murray State traditions/experiences?
The water balloon fight at the beginning of the school year and the NPHC Homecoming Step Show.
What is something you’ve accomplished at Murray State that you’re most proud of and why are you proud of it?
I am most proud of being the president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. It allowed me to develop my leadership skills and also taught me a lot about myself.
What opportunities have you been afforded at Murray State?
I have been able to network and develop my leadership and professional skills. I have also been fortunate enough to have my tuition, housing and meals paid for and will graduate debt-free.
What do you think sets Murray State apart from other universities?
Murray State is huge on diversity and making sure everyone is afforded the same opportunities, which definitely sets it apart from other universities. It is a small school in a small town, but the campus truly feels like a big family.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Get involved, make relationships with your teachers, maintain a healthy balance between school work and fun and make sure you take care of yourself physically and mentally!
Photo: Imani Oliver of St. Louis, Missouri, will graduate from Murray State University May 11 with a bachelor’s degree in not one, but two different majors: chemistry and mathematics.