Dr Osei Asibey Owusu is a medical doctor from Ghana and postgraduate researcher in Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences within Faculty of Health and Life Science. His PhD will use AI and Deep Machine Learning in Quantitative Data Modelling to learn and predict how Blood Pressure Trajectories affects Cardiovascular and other Morbidity Outcomes in Older Adults.

Embarking on a Ph.D. journey is a monumental feat, marked by intellectual challenges, personal growth, and countless triumphs. For ethnic minority and black students in a UK university, this journey comes with its unique set of twists and turns, often accompanied by the triumph of breaking barriers and the resilience born from diverse experiences. Let’s delve into my inspiring narrative of navigating the Ph.D. program as an ethnic minority and a black student, celebrating the strength in diversity.  

Embracing Diversity in Academia:

In the rich tapestry of academia, diversity is the cornerstone of innovation. Our presence as an ethnic minority and as a black student enriches the intellectual landscape, bringing forth unique perspectives and narratives. I embrace cultural heritage and recognize the power in diverse experiences, for they contribute immensely to the vibrant academic environment.

Challenging Stereotypes and Prejudices:

The path to a Ph.D. is not without hurdles. As an ethnic minority student, I might encounter challenges that test my resolve. Unfortunately, academia, like any other sphere, isn’t immune to stereotypes and prejudices, we might encounter biases that challenge our abilities and potential. We must rise above these prejudices; our accomplishments and intellect will inevitably break down these barriers, paving the way for future generations. Also, language barriers, cultural differences, and societal expectations can seem daunting. However, every challenge we overcome is a testament to our tenacity and strength. Remember, these challenges do not define us; they refine us.

Building a Supportive Network:

One of the keys to navigating the Ph.D. journey successfully is the support network we build. Seek out mentors who understand our unique challenges, there are a lot in Academic spheres, connecting with fellow ethnic minority students through societies, clubs and associates, and engaging with supportive faculty members. Together, this network can provide invaluable guidance, mentorship, and a sense of belonging, bolstering our confidence and resolve.

Celebrating Cultural Heritage:

Our cultural heritage is a source of strength and pride. We should celebrate it unabashedly. Sharing our traditions, cuisine, music, and festivals with our peers and professors. By doing so, we are not only enriching the cultural diversity of your academic community but also creating bridges of understanding and appreciation.

Empowering Future Generations:

Our journey is a beacon of hope for future generations. Our accomplishments will pave the way for others who will walk this path after us. We should be vocal about our experiences. We should share our wisdom, and mentor aspiring students. By doing so, we empower others to dream bigger, aim higher, and believe in their potential.

Championing Representation:

Our presence in academia is a testament to our resilience and determination. We should be a vocal advocate for representation. Engage in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our insights can spark important dialogues, leading to meaningful change within the academic community.

Embracing Unity in Diversity:

As we navigate the Ph.D. program, we should remember that unity in diversity is the strength of any academic community. Our unique perspective, coupled with the shared goal of knowledge and discovery, can break down barriers and foster an environment of inclusivity and understanding. We embrace our fellow students, learn from their experiences, and together, celebrate the richness that diversity brings to education and research.

Self-Care and Mental Health:

The pressures of a Ph.D. program can take a toll on anyone. For ethnic minorities and black students facing additional challenges, self-care is paramount. We should prioritize our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Seeking counselling when needed, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in activities such as sports and others that bring us joy. Remember, our well-being is as important as our academic pursuits.

Celebrating Achievements:

Every milestone we reach, every challenge we overcome, and every degree we earn is a victory not only for us but for the entire community. Celebrating our achievements, both big and small, our success stories will pave the way for future scholars, demonstrating that excellence knows no ethnic boundaries.

Looking Ahead with Hope:

Navigating the Ph.D. journey as an Ethnic Minority and a Black student in a UK university is a profound testament to our strength and resilience. As we face challenges and celebrate triumphs, remember that we are part of a legacy of trailblazers. Our presence not only enriches the academic community but also inspires generations to come. With every step, we are breaking barriers, shaping the future, and leaving an indelible mark on the world of academia. We keep moving forward with hope, determination, and the knowledge that we are not alone, our community stands with us, cheering us on to even greater heights.