Timothy James Shankar Ramnarine

Timothy James Shankar Ramnarine was born in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. He attended Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he completed a B. S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He graduated in 2009. His time in New Orleans was heralded by the arrival of Hurricane Katrina during the second week of classes.  Because of Katrina, he and about 20 other international students had to spend a month at Centenary College in northern Louisiana, sleeping on the gym floor, before they were able to return to Dillard. Some had brought only a couple of changes of clothes.  Some had not had time to bring anything at all. Their bus was burned down, their dorm was destroyed by an electrical fire and showed signs of 

looting…needless to say, it was a very eventful way to start his undergraduate career in the United States. 

Timothy had vacationed in the United States previously, but he still faced some cultural adjustments during his time in New Orleans. It took about a year before the locals could understand him, although he had no problem understanding them. Food was another big adjustment.  Timothy is Hindu, so the red meat-based meals made him sick at first.  The seafood, though, made him feel more at home, and he managed to stay away from American fast food and continue to snack on healthy fruits and vegetables like he had always done back home.

Timothy is seeking a Master’s in Cell and Molecular Biology at GVSU.  He began the program in August of 2011. He is a Special Projects Graduate Assistant / Training Specialist, working in the Human Research Protections Program, which is within the Human Research Review Committee (which is within the Center for Creative and Scholarly Excellence – phew!).  He is working on the development of an online researcher toolkit which will be used by researchers (of any experience level) to assist them with the legal and ethical aspects of research at GVSU.

After graduation, Timothy plans to do OPT for 1 year in a research lab (perhaps at the VanAndel Institute), and his dream job would be to work as a research professional for the Center for Disease Control here in the United States.  He hopes to eventually return home and become a professor so he may teach and mentor students just like him. 


Page last modified June 21, 2012