Student Government Association president balances schoolwork with student life  

January 16, 2024

Nikki Aquino, ’24, juggles the responsibilities of La Salle University Student Government Association president and biochemistry student. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to alter daily life in March 2020, Nikki Aquino, ’24, evaluated what she wanted from her higher education experience.  

The then-high school senior from Reading, Pa., started researching her next move between school closures and online learning.  

“It really gave me time to think about what I wanted in a university experience,” she said. 

Aquino was hopeful she could find a campus with a tightknit community and a small faculty-to-student ratio. Plus, attending a university in a major city added to the fun and diverse student experience.  

When she came across La Salle University, she knew she had found what she was looking for.    

“La Salle had a unique identity that stood on its own,” she said.  

She also knew entering the sciences was her desired career path. La Salle’s biochemistry program offered her the best of both worlds between biology and chemistry. She also felt the knowledgeable faculty with real world experience would be a huge plus inside and outside of the classroom.  

“La Salle had a unique identity that stood on its own.”

Nikki Aquino, ’24

Zeb Kramer, Ph.D., chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental science professor, has been a great mentor for Aquino.  

“Nikki really gets the La Salle vibe,” Kramer said. “She is at her scientific best when she’s tossing thoughts and ideas back and forth with me or her other classmates. Nikki thrives in the community aspect of learning. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department is proud to have her as a major.” 

Aquino said while Kramer’s courses can be challenging, he works with students to really make sure they’re understanding the material and succeeding. 

Since enrolling at La Salle, Aquino has taken advantage of what the campus has to offer. Today, she is the president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and a resident assistant.  

“I am a part of the Lasallian community,” she said of finding a home that met all of her needs.  

Working in SGA has helped Aquino become a greater part of the La Salle community and grow as a leader. She also likes working with her fellow students to make a legacy at 20th and Olney.  

“We can amplify our own voices to get things accomplished and better the University,” she said.  

Following graduation, Aquino plans to attend medical school and follow her dreams to become a physician. She hopes to work in neurology but is open to whatever path life leads her if it is rewarding and fulfilling.  

—Meg Ryan