Daniel Ogden (‘14) may appear like any number of Georgia Southern’s average college graduates. The 20-year-old enjoys music, playing guitar, going to church and plans to attend graduate school. Ogden, a native of Woodbine, Georgia, received the Chandler Foundation Scholarship for three semesters and already has a wide range of research experience invaluable to his future.
The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students majoring in biology and allows the recipient to participate in research projects, learning the ins and outs of how biological research is conducted. As a Chandler Foundation Scholar, Ogden researched the American eel and how aquaporin—water transport protein channels in cell membranes—in the fish allow them to adapt in both freshwater and saltwater.
“Without this scholarship, I would never have been able to experience a lot of things, including attending the Experimental Biology Conference in Boston. There, I was able to see the latest biological research from experts all over the world,” said Ogden. “Overall, the scholarship encouraged me to put time and effort into research, which has given me invaluable relevant experience toward my career.”
But Ogden’s successes in college and with his research didn’t come without what most people would consider a challenge or limitation. Ogden is hearing impaired, but he’s never let that alter his dreams or change the way he sees himself. He credits his friends with encouraging him during his undergraduate career at Georgia Southern and their advice to stay focused on the positive things in life.
“I try to focus on what I can do, or my potential, rather than what I can’t do,” said Ogden. “I have also been very involved in church throughout my college career, and taking time to focus on my religion has actually helped me do better in school.”
While many alumni might expect to read that Ogden has had to overcome unfair obstacles due to his hearing, Ogden doesn’t even consider the impairment a challenge. In fact, he never sought special assistance at Georgia Southern for his disability. “I chose not to receive assistance because I never felt the need for it. My hearing aids work great and I tried to sit at the front of all my lectures. It’s mostly during conversations, when more than one person is speaking, that I have trouble hearing,” he said. “It may sound interesting to hear how I have overcome these great hurdles, but I think a lot of other people have to overcome even greater challenges than I’ve had to face.” – Crissie Elrick
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