York College Graduate Juggles It All: Immigrant, Taxi Driver, New Father, and Now: Scientist

September 19, 2013


Contact: John Kelly, 917-745-7554


York College Graduate Juggles It All: Immigrant, Taxi Driver, New Father, and Now: Scientist


York College of the City University of New York (CUNY) proudly welcomed back one of its star students, a modern-day Renaissance man, for a guest lecture on campus today.


When Azhad Chowdhury immigrated to Queens from his native Bangladesh with an Associate’s degree, he enrolled in York College and dove into his new life in a way that left an indelible mark on everyone he interacted with.


He served as executive director of York’s Student Government, regularly meeting with college administrators at the highest levels. The College’s President, Provost and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences all sing his praises.


He also tackled the hard sciences, doing research in a Chemistry laboratory researching drug delivery systems for targeting specific organs.


“He’s a very special one,” said Dr. Jong-Ill Lee, Azhad’s mentor and Assistant Professor of Chemistry at York College. “I picked him. I had taught him in my Chemistry class. He absorbs things well. He’s able to observe and understand the molecules.”


Azhad is also the newly-married father of a six-month old son and has worked as a night-shfit taxi driver to support them.

Now, two years after graduating York, his hard work is paying off and he is on his way to becoming a research scientist. Azhad is currently enrolled in a PhD program in organic chemistry at Purdue University, which counts a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry among its current distinguished faculty.


But he hasn’t forgotten his roots at York College – he returned to his old department today to give a scientific lecture.


York College, a senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY), offers baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, accounting and business, journalism, communications technology, computer science, social work, teacher education and various health profession including nursing and physician assistant studies. York is the only CUNY senior college offering majors in gerontology, biotechnology, information systems management, aviation management; and a BS/MS in occupational therapy. For more information: http://www.york.cuny.edu