Prestigious awards pave the way for twins in College of Engineering
First-year University of Arizona students Elizabeth and Andrew Ghartey plan to take their problem-solving mindsets all the way to medical school.

By Katy Smith, College of Engineering
Aug. 8, 2023


Elizabeth and Andrew Ghartey
Elizabeth and Andrew Ghartey with their father, Kofi, and mother, Sophia.

Twins Elizabeth and Andrew Ghartey see engineering as their best path to careers in medicine – a path that begins later this month when they start classes together as first-year students in the University of Arizona College of Engineering.

"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 Ghartey, who is one of only 20 Arizona high school students to be named Flinn Scholars in 2023.

On her full-ride Flinn Scholarship, valued at $130,000, Elizabeth Ghartey had the choice to attend an honors college at any of Arizona's three public universities. She said she sees UArizona as the best place to apply her scholarship benefits, which include not just tuition, fees, housing and meals, but also the opportunity to 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.

Both Ghartey twins, who graduated from BASIS Mesa charter school in Mesa and have been admitted to the W.A. Franke Honors College, decided on UArizona after just one visit in April. They were particularly impressed with the meaningful research opportunities in the College of Engineering and the BIO5 Institute.

Elizabeth Ghartey will study biomedical engineering and plans to become a medical researcher or clinician specializing in genetic blood disorders or women's health. To take advantage of the Honors College's study abroad programs, she is considering studying genetics in the Netherlands or engineering and medicine in Switzerland.

Andrew Ghartey will pursue a degree in electrical and computer engineering and plans to then specialize in orthopedic medicine.

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

Andrew Ghartey was selected for the College Board National Recognition Programs, which help 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 UArizona together.

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

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," Elizabeth Ghartey said.

Andrew Ghartey is looking forward to working out at the Recreation and Wellness Center at Honors Village, also known as NorthREC. 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 sporting events.

Becoming problem solvers, like their dad

The Gharteys' father, Kofi, who is an electrical engineer at Intel, has set an example.

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

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

Elizabeth Ghartey 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."


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