20 in 5: Ohio State's newest alumni

This week, meet 20 of Ohio State's most promising new graduates

Chigo Ekeke, College of Arts and Sciences, B.S. Biochemistry

Ekeke, who earned a B.S. in Biochemistry with Research Distinction, plans to start medical school at Ohio State in the fall.

Ekeke, whose parents emigrated from Nigeria, says his most meaningful college experience was witnessing an open heart surgery operation at the Ross Heart Hospital, which finalized his decision to pursue a career in medicine.

In addition to a challenging major, Ekeke has been involved with research in the Department of Biochemistry since his freshman year, and worked as a teaching assistant in autumn quarter 2010. He also is a founding member of Band of Brothers, a student-based extension of the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male and all that it stands for.

Ekeke says he came to Ohio State not only because of the university’s rich tradition and superb biochemistry program, but because of his father’s premonition – when Chigo was born, his father knew he would attend Ohio State because his favorite professor during his collegiate career was an Ohio State alum.

Yuhao Sun
College of Engineering
B.S. Chemical Engineering

Yuhao Sun is an enthusiastic and optimistic student whose motto is “If you want the rainbow, you must first embrace the rain.” Along with the bachelor’s degree he received in chemical engineering, he hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D.

Sun’s parents, both university professors in China, flew to Columbus to attend his graduation. It was their first time in the U.S.

During his four years at Ohio State, Sun took advantage of many opportunities. He participated in undergraduate research and worked as a host and orientation leader in two jobs to help incoming international students. He also produced a video to introduce international students to Buckeye traditions.

Stephanie Neal
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
B.S. Dairy Science

Neal recently made news for leading a livestock handling training session for several area police departments. Majoring in dairy science with a minor in life sciences, Neal placed first in the university’s Denman Undergraduate Research Forum and is a top 10 senior in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and a top 20 senior at the university level. She will attend graduate school at Virginia Tech studying animal sciences, calf nutrition and immunology.

Growing up in a suburban setting, Neal fell in love with 4-H and raising livestock at age 11 after visiting the Wayne County Fair. She convinced her parents to lend her money to purchase a sheep and likewise convinced a neighbor to let her build a fence and barn for it. She raised sheep, then dairy bulls, then Angus cattle; earning enough cash over seven years to pay for her first year at Ohio State.

During her four years at Ohio State, Neal became interested in dairy cattle and the dairy industry and competed nationally on two college teams. She conducted research in dairy science and led several student organizations.

Kyle Bruggeman
College of Engineering
B.S. Industrial and
Systems Engineering

Bruggeman plans to go to work at the Eaton Corporation. He says Ohio State made a big impact on him, helping him to discover a career path that he is passionate about, and developing as a leader and professional.
In addition to internships at Nestle and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Bruggeman spent much of his time involved with student organizations. He was a member of Ohio Staters, an organization where members serve to improve the university, worked two years as a resident advisor in university residence halls, and is involved in several honor societies.

-Amy Murray, Ohio State Media Relations