ASU transfer student follows unexpected path to find a passion for skin health

By

Penny Walker

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of student profiles that are part of our December 2015 commencement coverage.

No matter where one’s educational path begins, the journey is often filled with unexpected twists and turns. Natalya Borakowski’s path began in Moscow, Russia.

“I have a master’s degree in music education, something I received back in Russia and something my parents always wanted me to have,” Borakowski said.

“However, I never saw myself as a teacher, so after years of searching and trying different careers, everything from waitressing to banking, I finally found my passion in skin care.”

Borakowski opened her own business after receiving her aesthetician license. Her practice, dedicated to helping people with problematic skin, became successful.

“Acne disease became my nemesis and the best friend,” said Borakowski, who had moved to Arizona from Moscow in 1999. “I made a lot of money helping people with acne, only to learn that there is nothing I can do to prevent future breakouts.”

This realization shifted her path back to higher education. Borakowski enrolled at Scottsdale Community College in 2012 to study biology, graduating with honors in May 2013.

“I believe the cure for acne lies beneath the skin,” Borakowski said. “I believe our modern treatments for acne are not effective and are only made to treat existing breakouts.”

After transferring to Arizona State University in fall 2013, Borakowski’s career goal further developed to combine her love of skin care with her ever-evolving dedication to finding unique solutions.

“My goal is to become naturopathic physician, not a dermatologist, because I do not want to treat the skin, I want to treat entire human body in order to find a unique cure for any skin condition for every individual,” said Borakowski, who received her degree in genetics, cell and developmental biology in the School of Life Sciences, part of ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

She found that ASU was the perfect institution to accommodate her ambitious goals along with her work and home life.

“I am very pleased that I was accepted to ASU,” said Borakowski, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA. “School is conveniently close to my work and home, and offers very comprehensive and very interesting classes to prepare me for medical school ahead.”