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August 2011

National Alumni Society Member

isis mikhailName: Isis S. Mikhail
Degree and Graduation Year: Cairo University Medical School, MD 1980; UAB, MPH 1990; UAB, DrPH 2003
Hometown: Birmingham, AL  (via Cairo, Egypt)Current town: Bethesda, MD
Current employer and job: National Cancer Institute; Health Scientist Administrator

Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer?
UAB School of Public Health is an excellent school. I am so appreciative of the education I have received at UAB and all the opportunities this education has provided me professionally as well as personally.

What made you choose UAB?
I was offered a scholarship for my MPH degree in Epidemiology at UAB SOPH. And the rest is history... I went on to continue with my DrPH degree and working in epidemiology research.

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time?
When I have free time, I enjoy painting with acrylics. Other hobbies I like are scrapbooking, reading, and writing.  I also love surfing "the net"!

Why did you decide on your career?  When I started my MPH, I worked as a research assistant in an epidemiology study. I simply enjoyed this type of research, talking to patients, and learning about human health and disease; so I decided to pursue my career in this field.

How has UAB changed since you graduated?  UAB has grown so much since I joined it in 1988. It also became very reputable. I feel proud when I hear NIH staff and scientists talk highly about UAB.

What's your favorite quote?  I have many favorite quotes, especially motivational ones. "When God closes a door, He opens a window" and "The worst thing to fear is fear itself" FDR.

What was your first job? My first job was my medical internship.

What is your proudest accomplishment?  One of my proudest accomplishments is completing my doctoral dissertation and receiving the Outstanding Doctoral Student of the year award.

Out of your college experiences, what was your favorite UAB memory?  I have many fond memories.  My DrPH graduation celebration; receiving the Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year plaque; being honored to represent SOPH graduates at  UAB's  First University Day 40th Anniversary Ceremony.  

And going back a few years-I enjoyed moving to the new SOPH building and our fun SOPH parties.

What was the last book you read?   Usually I read more than one book at a time. The last ones were "The Private Lives of the Impressionists" by Sue Roe; and "Chicago" By Alaa Elaswany.

What do you like best about your job?   Being part of NIH, the best research institute in the world. Learning about new state-of-the art research projects and contributing to the cancer research agenda of the Nation. 

What are your pet peeves?   Nail biting-can't stand it!

Have you ever won a trophy?
Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year 2003; NIH Director's Merit Award 2008; Medical School scholarship; Best Student of the Year in high school.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?  Never say never again! 

If you had a time machine and could only select one year to relive, what year would you travel to?  Many years-maybe relive a month from a few years back; some to enjoy, and some to re-visit!

What's the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?  MS Windows . It made use of computers so much simpler and more accessible for everyone in many ways, personally and professionally.

Who would you want to portray you in a movie about your life?  Don't know. Maybe Rachel Weisz since she has dark hair!


Student Alumni Society Member

Sadhavi_BatraName: Sadhvi Batra
Year: Class of 2014
Major: Neuroscience and Philosophy
Hometown: New Delhi, India

Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer?
UAB is a fairly new university. It is still making its traditions and in the last few years has become popular among the most diverse students. Being able to participate in its development as a distinguished top tier college is what makes me proud to be a UAB Blazer.

Why did you choose UAB?
I choose UAB because of the opportunity as well as the diverse student body. UAB has exciting venues for all fields and its nationally-ranked honors academy is what sealed the deal. At UAB students are allowed to not only gain a rich foundation in academia but are able to practice their interests through the arcade of extracurricular activities offered.

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time?
During my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, spending time with friends and family, and most importantly, napping.

What are your future goals?
My future goals are to attend medical school and become a practicing physician.

Who is the best professor that you have had so far and why?
The best professor that I have had so far at UAB is Dr. Jacqueline Sullivan. She made Bioethics a fun, exciting class that I looked forward to every Tuesday and Thursday. With her charisma and eccentricity, she reinforced the interest that I had in philosophy and I ended up adding Philosophy as my second major. Also, this upcoming year she will be advising me on an interdisciplinary research project. All in all she is a passionate professor and I'm really glad I got to have her.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
If I could trade places with a fictional character, I would want to be Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth roamed the streets of beautiful Hertfordshire and with her honesty and wit she evaded the superficial ideologies of her society. 

If you had a theme song, what would it be?
"
Something Good Can Work" by Two Door Cinema Club 

What's your favorite event at UAB?
My favorite event at UAB was the multicultural program held by Asian American Organization. In the Fall, I performed with Blazaraas, a newly formed Guajarati dance group, in the Diwali festival. I had a wonderful time celebrating my culture!

If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say?
"Student Activist Works to Bring Sexual Education Reform" I am currently working with the 1917 Clinic and Aids Alabama to create a new sexual education curriculum to be approved by the State Legislator. It would be phenomenal for all of our hard work to pay off!

Have you ever won a trophy?
Yes.  I have won trophies in cheerleading and academia in high school.

What's the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?
The greatest invention during my lifetime was Skype. Through Skype I have been able to stay in touch with many, many of my old friends. It has made chatting with individuals and groups of people quite convenient and enjoyable. 

What's your favorite study spot on campus?
My favorite study spot on campus any table on the third floor of Sterne Library.

What would be your dream job?
Apart from being a physician, my dream job would be getting paid to learn and travel. I have always enjoyed the shelter of academia as well as the thrill of sight-seeing. If only I could make a career out of learning and exploring!

If you could go a road trip anywhere with anyone, where would you go and with whom?
If I could go on a road trip I would take a trip across the US with my closest friends from high school. This road trip would just add on to some of our most loved memories.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
Eclectic Dreams. I have a variety of interests that have all contributed to my pursuit of knowledge and desire to go into medicine.