Science/Phi Theta Kappa

Aleksandra Boychenko

“College years are the only time you get to study the things you really want to know. Because when you enter a career, you just don’t have the luxury of time.”

Ukraine—because of its fertile soil—is known as the ‘bread basket of Europe.’ But that land now seems far distant to Aleksandra Boychenko, who was just 6 when she moved to America with her mother. “I’ve gone back to my country several times, but I would just never want to live there. I think that America—and California for sure—are the best places to be. For many reasons,” she continues, “but opportunity and the way education is for everyone here are just a couple of examples of why I’m glad that I’m now a US citizen.”

Aleksandra studied long and hard before making her decisions about career paths she might take. “I’m going into pre-med, where I want to do pediatrics, so that has meant a lot of science. And the Science department here is very good. I thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry classes I’ve had, and the physics I studied was tough. But that’s just not supposed to be easy and fun!” she says with a laugh. “And my chem teacher, I thought, was brilliant. Professor Hsieh. She lectures throughout the entire class, but it’s never boring, because she’s so excited about telling us what she knows and wants us to know, too. Her classes are always very interactive,” continues Aleksandra. “Plus, she always makes sure that no one falls asleep! Science is sometimes quite dry and needs that sense of humor.”

Aleksandra says, “I do enjoy being part of Phi Theta Kappa at this college because I like being surrounded—and in contact with—lots of bright people. My mom wants me to go to UCLA for med school,” she adds. “But I’m also thinking about maybe Boston or the UK. I’ve just always felt confident—in any situation—to find my own way in a completely new environment.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​