Behind the Test Tube: Q&A

Medina Afandiyeva—Graduate Student, Kennedy Group

A poster featuring the person's image and the answer to two profile questions.

Where is home/where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan. I then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was 17 and lived there for five years before moving to Rochester, New York.

Why did you choose chemistry as a career?

I fell in love with organic chemistry from the first class in my high school back home. I never knew that I could pursue chemistry as a career until I was re-exposed to it during my undergraduate studies. The puzzle-solving aspect of it and the never-ending questions to answer inspired me to pursue chemistry research upon graduation.

What do you like to do when not in the department?

I always try to travel to new places whenever I have a chance. I love connecting with new cultures through learning their lifestyle, traditions, and languages. It never stops amazing me how people's values and traditions change from country to country.

A Rochester must?

Melo coffee. It is very close to the Memorial Art Gallery and is perfect for a walk in the summer.

Feast/meal of the times? Details, please!

Food in Azerbaijan is influenced by many cultures (including Turkey, Iran, Ukraine, and Georgia), so aside from traditional Azeri food, I am a big fan of the food from those countries. If you are ever in that region, you should try Fisinjan Shakh Plov (pomegranate and walnut stew with chicken and rice).

A holiday that rocks? Care to tell us why?

Novruz (celebration of the coming of spring). I like the values that this holiday brings, such as spending time with your family, cooking food together, cleaning your house, planting trees, and making up with people you were having conflicts with.

Ask me about…

Anything related to my hometown, food, and world music.

The goal of this initiative is to highlight the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in the Department of Chemistry and help our community develop stronger connections and synergies. You can think of these spotlights as the beginning of a conversation that we very much hope you will continue in the corridors of Hutch and beyond.

If you wish to contribute to this initiative, please complete our questionnaire.