Hustling to Take on Health Disparity

Sudah on the lacrosse field. Photo by James Rasp.

Photo by James Rasp.

Suleiman Slay” Sudah ’15


Student-athlete Slay Sudah ’15 describes himself as “one of those hustle guys who can’t do anything but defend,” but his lacrosse awards point to an enviable athletic career. Sudah also is a scholarship awardee with plans to one day open a clinic for underserved communities—a dream that came to the fore after he shadowed public-health personnel in a foster-care clinic in the Bronx. He describes the importance of being prepared for next steps and widening one’s social circles.



Clubs, activities and organizations:

Men’s lacrosse, resident advisor, chemistry department tutor and laboratory assistant, Green Dot program and L.E.A.D (mentor).



Forney P. George Scholarship; Dean’s List; men's lacrosse Rookie of the Year, First-Team All Centennial Conference and Third-Team All American.

Favorite class:

Introduction to Global Dance Studies, taught by [Director of Dance] Sarah Skaggs. As a science major, I rarely had classes with any of my teammates. In this dance class, however, more than 10 lacrosse players were enrolled, and I was friends with almost every other person in the class. We learned about specific dances and their cultural importance, which was interesting, but I had the most fun actually learning to perform these moves within the studio. Watching a bunch of my lanky, rhythmically challenged friends attempt ballet was pure entertainment. What was even more hilarious was the fact that most of them actually thought they had talent.

Most important things I’ve learned (so far):

The first is that you can never be too prepared. It’s fine if you come into college not knowing exactly what you want to do, but when you figure it out, it's important to meet with advisors, do your research, make your connections and ensure that you know exactly what it takes to make yourself as qualified as possible, come senior year. My second piece of advice is to never limit yourself socially. At small liberal-arts schools, its easy to find and stick with particular groups of friends who share similar interests. On the flip side, it’s also ridiculously easy to learn about and join any club or activity that Dickinson has to offer. I’ve immersed myself in such a wide range of extracurriculars, and I’m thankful to have friends in every corner of campus. The more people you know, the more you learn about yourself, which is what I feel really shapes people throughout their college experience.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I have been accepted into master's programs at Boston University School of Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Georgetown University School of Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. These are one-year programs that allow me to take medical-school courses with first-year [medical-school] students as a means of academic enhancement for the 2015-16 medical-school application cycle. After medical school—and after I acquire enough experience within my specialty and am ready to handle greater responsibility—I'd like to open a free clinic for the medically underprivileged, where my colleagues and I can offer inclusive, high-quality treatment. As a recent shadow within the Children’s Village foster care clinic in the Bronx, N.Y., I realized that providing public health education, especially to children within these communities, can really help to combat health disparity.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… the No. 1 draft pick in the NBA draft. I remember scoring 28 points in a middle-school game and truly believing that I was the best eighth-grade small forward in New Jersey. These expectations brutally shifted in high school, when everybody in the country, besides me, seemed to have an 8-inch growth spurt. I still play from time to time, but I’ve transformed into one of those “hustle guys” who basically can’t do anything but defend, and occasionally drain a mid-range jump shot.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Jennifer Aniston, without question.

Proudest accomplishment:

I’m just proud to have either influenced or enhanced the lives of those around me.

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Published April 3, 2015