Biomedical sciences major has big plans for career after days at Auburn

Published: July 13, 2020
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Jameela Broadie may only be at the halfway point of her undergraduate career, but she already is well on her way to becoming one of the more accomplished Auburn Tigers on campus.

The biomedical sciences major will be a junior come fall semester, and she’ll be building on a stellar two years in Auburn that have seen her become a member of the Honors College and a leader in various student organizations. Broadie—who moved to Montgomery at the age of 6 after being born in Charleston, S.C.—not only works as a resident assistant, but has served as a conference assistant through University Housing’s Student Affairs at Keller Hall, an athletic student recruiter, a food service volunteer at Campus Kitchens and volunteer at the local Salvation Army.

If that wasn’t enough, Broadie has served as an Explore at Auburn team leader through the university’s Emerge leadership program, helping students learn and develop leadership skills, counseling younger students and stressing equality and inclusion.

“I try to make sure I’m well-rounded and knowledgeable in a lot of different areas so I have information to help people,” said Broadie, who spent this summer taking classes online at Snead Community College while at home in Montgomery. “In Auburn, there’s so many different opportunities for exposure. It’s nice to be able to help somebody, because I know I had a lot of people helped me get where I am.”

Broadie also sings in the Auburn Women’s Chorus, a group that gives her a chance to explore an artistic passion while gaining a sense of camaraderie with her fellow singers.

“I’m able to express myself, so that’s why I decided to have an outlet when I got to college,” said Broadie, who also sang in the choir and played clarinet in the band in high school at Alabama Christian Academy. “When I was younger, we used to take a lot of road trips, and technology wasn’t very big back then. I didn’t have an iPad to play on in the back seat, so I would always sing along whenever my mom listened to her CDs. When I got in high school, I decided to join the choir.’”

She’s particularly enjoyed working as a resident assistant in the sorority halls, helping younger students learn the ins and outs of college life.

“Just being able to connect with so many people and being able to help them through their problems has been great,” Broadie said. “When I first started at Auburn my freshman year, I didn’t know everything, and it was comforting to have an RA if anything ever happened and you needed to talk to somebody about it. They were always there.

“I want to help my residents feel welcome, have things to do and to have a sense of community where they live.”

Those experiences, and more, have endeared Broadie to Auburn and the seemingly never-ending positive energy that flows through the campus. That, coupled with the tight-knit community’s support network, have made her realize just how special the university is.

“I love the spirit,” said Broadie, who participated in Auburn’s Summer Bridge program before her freshman year to become acclimated to college life. “At Auburn, everyone wants to see others succeed, and that’s one of the things I’ve looked for in my life. I want to be surrounded by people who want to uplift me and see me do well, and for me to be there to uplift them as well.

“I really feel like being around the Auburn Family, that’s all they want to see—everybody do well and thrive.”

Broadie’s studies one day will take her away from the “Loveliest Village on the Plains,” but she feels her time in Auburn is laying the foundation for great things.

“Seeing people who’ve graduated from Auburn where they are now, it’s a place of opportunity,” she said. “That’s one of the things that have stood out to me about it and one of the things I love, where it can take me.”

As far as her choice in majors, Broadie’s interest in science began at a young age when she took a heavy interest in science and math. High standards became a way of life for Broadie early on, thanks in large part to the support and example set forth by her parents, George and Sheila.

“Even when I was in elementary school, my mom was like, ‘Make sure you have all A’s. No B’s,’” said Broadie, who aspires to become an oral surgeon after her days at Auburn. “As I got older, she didn’t really have to tell me anymore. It was something I set up for myself, and that drive was there.

“I’ve always had that drive, and I’ve always wanted to be successful in life.”

An interest in medicine developed in high school biology classes and was amplified when Broadie attended a camp called “Camp MDme,” where students are given the chance to look at different medical professions. Her future career plans came into focus when she got to see the dentistry program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham through that experience.

“For me, doing the actual cutting, having to be precise with the incisions and making sure you don’t cut something wrong was really something that stood out to me,” Broadie said. “So, I knew from then that I wanted to go into some form of surgery as a profession. Then, when I saw dentistry school at UAB, I knew I wanted to be an oral surgeon.”

Broadie’s thirst for knowledge and positive personality have been evident to her professors.

“I’ve never met a student who could laugh or joke about their weaknesses and fear of organic chemistry the way Jameela did during office hour discussions,” said Bradley Merner, a S. D. and Karen H. Worley Associate Professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “She always made me laugh, but I was certain that despite her lighthearted commentary, she completely understood the content we discussed. Her approach to learning was unique and a breath of fresh air.”

She has specific goals for her final two years in Auburn as she transitions to more courses in her major.

“I want to work more toward making connections with people specifically in dentistry and becoming more involved in medical-related organizations,” Broadie said. “I just want to make sure I know the responsibilities that come with the profession and make connections with people who are maybe a little older than me and who are three or four steps ahead of me, just so I know what I need to start preparing for as I get older.”

Broadie already knows the type of surgical office she wants to run.

“I definitely want to own my own practice, and I want it to be more inclusive,” she said. “My minor is Spanish because I really want to be bilingual. By learning Spanish, I won’t have that language barrier with native Spanish speakers.

“I want a practice that’s diverse, where different people can come get the medical attention they need.”

Broadie also craves the variety a profession like oral surgery can provide on a regular basis.

“I don’t want to do the same thing every day, and I don’t want what I do to be boring,” she said. “One day, I want to be able to take out a tooth, and the next day take out a jaw. I want something that will keep me enthused, motivated, challenged and stimulated.”

Helping people in a welcoming and inclusive environment is the end goal for the determined undergrad.

“I always knew I wanted to help people and have a profession that was in the medical field that’s also challenging,” Broadie said. “I want to give back and help other people get to where they want to be.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.