College/Chapter: Malcolm X College/Alpha Lambda Iota Chapter
Five Fast Facts:
- I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Drake University with double majors in Actuarial Science and Information Systems.
- I worked as an Actuarial Consultant and then Investment Consultant for many years before returning to school to pursue a career in medicine.
- I was born in Bangladesh, but my early childhood was spent in the Middle East. My family and I were living in Kuwait when it was invaded by Iraq. During the international crisis that ensued, we fled back to Bangladesh via refugee camps. I then spent my teen years in Bangladesh before transferring to Drake University.
- I am fully fluent in four languages: English, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu. I am also familiar with Arabic and French.
- In Bangladesh, I had volunteered for the Developing-8 Summit. My diverse language skills earned me a position as a Protocol Liaison, whereby I met heads of states of four countries: Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
My Phi Theta Kappa Story: Soon after starting classes at Malcolm X College, I heard that there was an honor society on campus called Phi Theta Kappa. Being a self-proclaimed nerd, I immediately wanted to be part of this group. Upon inquiry, I was informed that membership was only by invitation, which was sent out to students who have demonstrated at least a semester worth of academic excellence. Naturally I was disappointed, but it gave me extra impetus to ace all my classes.
When I finally received my invitation the following semester, it felt like a great accomplishment in itself. I was also very fortunate to win a scholarship to attend Nerd Nation in Maryland through my school’s SGA. What had initially drawn me to Phi Theta Kappa was Fellowship and Scholarship, but it was at Nerd Nation that I began to grasp the scope of what Phi Theta Kappa has to offer. Hearing from all the wonderful speakers, most notably Yanik Etan, opened my eyes to the platform this society provides for Leadership and Service opportunities. I brought back the tremendous energy I felt at Nerd Nation and vowed to play an active role in my chapter and also run for regional office.
My Favorite Phi Theta Kappa Moment (So Far): While Nerd Nation was an eye-opening experience, I was still a neophyte and only beginning to learn about the organization. However, my favorite Phi Theta Kappa moment was the week spent in North Carolina for Honors Institute. There we received training from President Dr. Tincher-Ladner, and other wonderful leaders and staff. We heard from a diverse group of speakers, who each covered different elements of the Honors Study Topic. After each speaker, we split into break-out sessions to expound on the themes introduced by the speaker.
But the definitive reason that marks this as my favorite moment was the fellow scholars that I met during this week. I felt privileged to be among a bevy of intelligent, compassionate and motivated individuals from every region of Phi Theta Kappa. While this group represented a wide diversity of backgrounds, thoughts and experiences, there was a singular drive shared by all – the drive to improve ourselves by improving our communities. I felt that I had found my tribe. I met many wonderful people here who I am sure will become lifelong friends. I cannot wait to meet them again at Nerd Nation in Tennessee.
Favorite Quote Related To This Year’s Honors Study Topic:
“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.” – Rabindranath Tagore