TALLAHASSEE — Tony D. Hansberry is not an average college freshman. Perceived as a child prodigy after developing an innovative suture method that decreases hospital stays and increases efficiency during operations for hysterectomies, the then 14-year-old said he just wanted to bring a prize back home from the science fair.
“People think I’m a genius,” Hansberry said. “It’s not that at all, I just like medicine.”
The freshman biomedical engineering student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), said that after not winning in the science fair in the eighth grade, he teamed up with an administrator at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville to develop the innovative surgical procedure. Hansberry has continued his education in the field that caught his interest early on as a child.
Born in Tallahassee and raised in Jacksonville, 18-year-old Hansberry considers FAMU to be home. “The joy that my dad has when he sees his friends, I wanted that,” said the offspring of FAMU alumnus Elder Tony Hansberry.
Like his father — a former Marching “100” member and King of Orange and Green — Tony D. has Rattler leadership venom in his veins. He presides as the freshman class senator. Like other first-time students, Hansberry said he continues to learn how to balance school and extracurricular activities while he maintains his good grades.
“Make sure you know the priorities of school before you join any organization,” he said.
Hansberry said he was torn about changing his major from biomedical engineering to chemistry, but finds comfort in knowing he has a clear definition of what he wants to pursue for the longevity of his career. “I want to become a trauma surgeon.”
Hansberry acknowledges that the career he has chosen requires dedication, plenty of studying and long nights, but says he has the drive and will to get there.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get there, I just know I will.”