Celebrating Our Graduates; College of Science

Common paths, different goals: Twin biological science majors ready for graduations


Twins Munashe and Tinashe Douglas have taken similar paths to different goals.

They both are biological sciences majors at Clemson University. Both will graduate this year — Munashe, who goes by Shay, in May and Tinashe, who goes by Tina, in August.

head shot of Tinashe Douglas
Tinashe Douglas

“Biology has the answer for everything, like what to do in life and life on Earth. I realized I liked it in middle school when we had to make a 3D model of a cell for seventh grade. I knew then that I really liked science and wanted to major in it and pursue it as a future,” said Tina, who is one minute younger than her sister.

For Shay, math and science have always been her strong suit.

“They came easier to me. I took a sports medicine class in high school and realized that I wanted to do something in the medical field and that I wanted to major in biology in college,” she said.

Careers in health care

Both will take gap years before pursuing careers in health care. 

Tina plans to work as an optometry assistant before applying to optometry school. “I had problems with my eyes. I didn’t have any other medical problems. I didn’t have to wear braces or anything like that, but my eyesight started to decline in middle school,” she said.

Shay will work as a medical scribe during her gap year and then apply to medical school. She’s interested in specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine and OB-GYN.

The twins are originally from Jamaica. They moved with their family to Summerville, South Carolina, when they were 10 years old and in the sixth grade.

Sticking together

They both attended Ashley Ridge High School and participated in the school’s early college program, earning an associate degree at the same time as they earned their high school diplomas. When it came time to pick a college, a time when some twins decide to go their own ways, they both chose Clemson.

headshot of Munashe Douglas
Munashe Douglas

“Going to the same school would be a lot easier for our parents, since they would have to make trips to and from campus,” Shay said.

It also came with other benefits, like not having to get used to a new roommate and a built-in support system and study buddy.

“If one of us was confused about a topic, we’d share notes from the other professor, hoping that the other professor explained it better,” Tina said.

One semester earlier

Tina has worked in Clemson’s herbarium since the twins arrived on campus in Fall 2022, doing everything from data collection to preparing specimens for shipping to other colleges and mounting and pressing plant specimens that will be archived. Shay has worked in the Hendrix Student Center for Campus Reservations and Events.

Tina is graduating one semester later than Shay because the prerequisites for optometry and medical school are different.

On graduation day, Shay said it will be strange not to have her sister beside her.

“I won’t know who’s sitting beside me, and that kind of makes me sad,” she said.

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