May 2, 2022

Kishore Owusu – An ASI Chemicals Intern with a Bright Future in Science

Kishore Owusu – An ASI Chemicals Intern with a Bright Future in Science

Cheyney University provides many benefits and opportunities to its students to learn, grow academically and envision prosperous careers for themselves. Among those opportunities is the chance for STEM students to participate in paid internships in the different science and technology companies based on the university’s sprawling campus.

Sophomore Kishore Owusu is one of those students. A major in biology with a concentration in pre-med, he is a member of the STEM Club, a student trustee and an intern at the ASI Chemicals facility. ASI Chemicals is a startup company that manufactures chemicals for pharmaceutical products. Kishore said he’s been given a unique opportunity that affords him real life experience in the sciences and broadens his view of his chosen career trajectory.

His path to an internship started through a mix of networking and being part of a cohort of students helping in the different labs, which includes the STEM Club. He would help organize the labs and keep them orderly and often hung out in the Science Center, talking to different professors.

“That’s how they came to know my name,” said Owusu. “One day Ms. Atkins (Vanessa Atkins, Director of the Life Sciences and Technology Hub) asked if I knew of anyone who might be interested in working as an intern for ASI. I didn’t think it was for me, but at the time I had misconceptions about organic chemicals. I thought it would be very hard, so I gave her someone else’s name. She asked me why was I offering the position to someone else? So, I put myself in the running.”

Owusu said ASI provided him with several shadowing sessions and then offered him an internship for the semester.

“What I’m doing is not what you would expect an intern to do,” he said. “I’m doing chemical analyses, helping to synthesize organic compounds and molecules, and running through different chemical reactions. It’s very involved and detailed. It’s not every day that a student is working with a company that’s making real products and moving that production process along. I have the title of intern, but what I’m doing is exactly what the staff does every day.”

ASI Chemicals launched its operations in the university’s Science Center in 2020. It is part of the growing list of corporate partners that have set up shop on the campus.

Rich Tyburski, president of ASI Chemicals, said when the company was looking for lab space, he knew Cheyney was the right fit for a home base. ASI was formed by two principals formerly with IsoSciences. Tyburski said they were looking for students seeking a science degree to intern with them but also students who may be interested in seeking business or marketing degrees.

He also said he recognized early in their relationship that Kishore was perfect for the intern position.

“I started as an intern for a company right before my junior year at Villanova University, which was how I got my first job,” said Tyburski. “That company hired me as an entry-level scientist, and I worked my way up. There’s nothing like getting that real-world experience and that’s what we’re doing for Cheyney’s students.

Tyburski continued, “Kishore jumped right in, which was unusual because our work can seem a little daunting, but he picked up things quickly. We give students hands on experience with the technology to learn what a career in this business is like. You could definitely say he’s raised the bar.”

Owusu’s first visit to the campus was when his older brother Samuel graduated. Kishore said he was proud and inspired by his brother who was valedictorian that year and went on to study medicine at Morehouse College. He said if he were talking to a high school student thinking about higher education, he would definitely recommend Cheyney.

“I had the opportunity to see the campus and the way the students and faculty were so enthusiastic about education. I also knew the history of the university and that made me realize I wanted to be here,” he said. “There are a lot of great programs and opportunities at Cheyney that people who don’t choose this school overlook. As a student trustee, I understand a little more than most of how President (Aaron) Walton has rebuilt Cheyney. The university would not be expanding and growing the way it is without him; I’m so grateful for him and proud to be a part of this university.”

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