Malik Seals is one of this year’s winners of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, a Premier Award that recognizes excellence of character and service to humanity. The award honors one man and one woman of the graduating class and one non-student who has been helpful to and associated with the University. A senior from Columbus, Mississippi, Malik is majoring in biological sciences.
What has been your favorite experience at UA?
I really love the fact that UA provides its students with an abundance of opportunities to join student-lead organizations. Not only are the experiences gleaned from these organizations often highly transferrable, but also they allow students to work with a diverse group of students. Further, I think UA really does make an effort to help students get involved in professional development opportunities closely linked to their respective fields of study.
How did you make the decision to attend UA?
My decision was based primarily on the potential for research and the closeness in proximity to my hometown. I knew I wanted to attend a reputable research institution but also wanted a vibrant student community that and UA offered the perfect balance of rigor and community. Also, I grew up traveling to Tuscaloosa fairly often from my hometown Columbus, Mississippi, therefore even before attending the University I had a fondness in my heart for the Druid City.
What advice would you give the incoming class of 2024?
If I could offer the single most important piece of advice I’ve come to learn, find your niche on campus and start there. It doesn’t matter your interests, I can promise there is an organization on this campus that aligns with them, and if there isn’t take the initiative and start the organization yourself. Secondly, take the time to explore the campus more as UA is a beautiful campus and you really never get the opportunity to witness its true beauty in the hustle and bustle of daily activities. Lastly, the professors at the university are a true asset, get to know them well, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional development opportunities or for constructive criticism, as they are able to offer you an objective outlook.