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Elizabeth and Andrew Ghartey will start their studies in the College of Engineering in fall 2023. The Ghartey family from left is Kofi, Elizabeth, Andrew and Sophia.

Prestigious Awards Pave the Way for Twins in Engineering

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Prestigious Awards Pave the Way for Twins in Engineering

Aug. 8, 2023
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First-year students plan to take problem-solving mindsets all the way to medical school.

Twins Elizabeth and Andrew Ghartey, graduates of BASIS Mesa in Gilbert, Arizona, see engineering as their best path to careers in medicine.

“A lot of technologies need to be made in order to solve the problems in medicine. And that’s where engineering comes in,” said Elizabeth, who is one of only 20 Arizona high-school students to become Flinn Scholars in 2023.

On her full-ride Flinn Scholarship, valued at $130,000, Elizabeth had the choice to attend an honors college at any of the state’s three public universities. She considered the University of Arizona her best fit. She sees the UA as the best place to apply her scholarship benefits, which include not just tuition, fees, housing and meals, but also study abroad.

“My parents have been saving for a very long time to help me get a bachelor's degree, but now that money can be applied toward my medical degree, which is probably going to be very expensive,” she said.

In fact, both Gharteys, who have been admitted to the W.A. Franke Honors College, decided on the UA after just one visit this April. They were particularly impressed with the meaningful research opportunities in the College of Engineering and BIO5 Institute.

Elizabeth is majoring in biomedical engineering in preparation for becoming a medical researcher or clinician and is leaning toward specializing in genetic blood disorders or women’s health. In the Honors College, she can choose among many study abroad programs. She is considering the Netherlands for its genetics programs or Switzerland for its strong engineering and medical opportunities.

Andrew plans to earn a degree in electrical and computer engineering, then specialize in orthopedic medicine.

“I find it rather fascinating,” he said. “It applies a lot in weightlifting strength and athletics.”

Andrew was selected for College Board National Recognition, which helps underrepresented students with academic honors stand out on college and scholarship applications. Among other competitive awards, he received a four-year renewable undergraduate tuition scholarship under the university’s National Scholars Tuition Award program.

Starting the Wildcat Journey With Like-Minded Students

The twins weren’t necessarily set on attending the same university, but they are glad they landed at Arizona together.

“I see it as already having a friend there, and someone to help each other out,” said Andrew.

And the Gharteys are excited to move into the Honors Village dorm.

“I get to be with like-minded students and students of different interests who are highly ambitious and academically focused,” said Elizabeth.

Andrew is looking forward to working out at the village’s NorthREC wellness center. Both hope to play intramural sports. He is a track athlete, and she plays volleyball. They also plan to be among the fans at Wildcat sports events. 

Becoming Problem Solvers, Like Their Dad

Andrew and Elizabeth’s father, Kofi, who is an electrical engineer at Intel, has set an example.

Learning to think like an engineer as his dad does, said Andrew, will serve him throughout his life – in his career, in daily tasks such as cooking, and certainly in how he approaches schoolwork.

“I observe him and how he goes through things. It reflects problem-solving skills and a lot of adaptability,” Andrew said.

Elizabeth agrees, adding that engineering offers a convergence of science, math and technology, with a chance “to apply them to create things and innovate, to solve problems that affect us in the world today.”