Kent State transfer made life brighter for Biotechnology major

Kent State transfer made life brighter for biotechnology major

Kent State University junior Dwayne Murray sees a brighter future since transferring to the Kent Campus last fall.

The biotechnology major has been acing his coursework in hopes that one day he will be able to study the effects of prescription drugs on children diagnosed with behavior disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The topic is close to Mr. Murray’s heart because during his childhood, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and prescribed Adderall and Ritalin to treat the disorder.

Having first-hand knowledge about those mood altering drugs has propelled Mr. Murray’s quest to do research on brain chemistry in childhood development.

“From 6- to 17-years-old, I was on Adderall and Ritalin,” he recalls. “I felt that it affected my development and made me emotionally disconnected. It didn’t work in a positive way. I had a limited range of emotions on Adderall.”

Mr. Murray, 27, a native of Michigan, came to Kent State with an Associate of Science degree from Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, where his desire to study biochemistry and biotechnology began. However, his path to Kent State was neither direct nor short.  

After moving several times during childhood, Mr. Murray graduated from high school in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He said when he stopped taking Adderall and Ritalin, he began to feel better.

Yet, his life did not automatically stabilize. He attended several community colleges in Michigan after high school, but he wasn’t ready for school. “I didn’t have the motivation and follow up for it,” he says. “I stumbled through life.”

His aunt helped smooth out his life’s path when she invited him to move to Hudson, Ohio, to live with her. Mr. Murray enrolled at Tri-C, and that’s when his life started rolling in the right direction.

“My auntie gave me the opportunity to move here with her. I got into school, got a job and finished my associate degree.”

After earning his degree at Tri-C in 2015, Mr. Murray got a job at Chipotle and an apartment in Streetsboro.

By chance, he met a retired instructor from Kent State who asked him what he was going to do with the rest of his life. Mr. Murray shared his story with her and mentioned his interest in learning more about brain chemistry in children. The former instructor encouraged him to enroll at Kent State. She introduced him to a student, who put him in touch with an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

It took Mr. Murray four or five months to enroll, but he eventually decided to take that next, big step. He says Kent State is convenient, the enrollment process easy and straightforward and the staff excellent.
“I just got my first A in math that I’ve ever gotten in college,” Mr. Murray says of the trigonometry class that he just completed at Kent State. “I got a B in genetics. That was tough.”

Now he is attending Kent State part-time and working 50-plus hours per week. Spring semester, Mr. Murray is taking Introduction to Biotechnology and a calculus course. Chipotle has a tuition reimbursement program, which helps pay for his classes. And he is also looking forward to getting into a lab setting on campus.

Mr. Murray’s transfer to Kent State has been an illuminating experience and has heightened his sense of purpose.  

“I’ve had a few experiences that have reconnected me to life. Before, life didn’t look bright. But now, it looks bright!”

POSTED: Friday, January 19, 2018 04:04 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 12:43 AM
April McClellan-Copeland