Graduate School News

Meet Your Student Leaders: Nirzari Gupta, president of GSG

1. Nirzari Alokkumar PresidentThe Graduate School has launched another new series called "Meet Your Student Leaders." This series will provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to get to know the students who run the various graduate student organizations. This week's featured student leader is Nirzari Gupta, president of the Graduate Student Government.
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Discoveries: The sweet science behind mending muscle

IMG 0174Rylie Hightower, a third-year graduate student in the Graduate Biomedial Sciences neuroscience program, studies proteins and other factors that contribute to the progression of muscular dystrophy. 

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Link to Leadership: Dr. Lisa Schwiebert, Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

GRAD logo without taglineEmbarking on the graduate school journey can be a challenging experience, but it helps if you understand the major players involved in that experience. This new series, "Link to Leadership," features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know these leaders on a deeper level.
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Blazer Spotlights

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Jacqueline Vo

Jacqueline Vo

Kendra Royston

Kendra Royston

Samir Rana

Samir Rana

GS:      Where are you from?
JH:       Jacksonville, Florida. We moved to Birmingham in August of 2004 when my
husband's employer transferred us.

GS:      What degree did you/will you receive and when?
JH:       I will receive a Masters of Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Management in May 2009.

GS:      How long have you been at UAB?
JH:       I’ve been at UAB since Fall 2007.

GS:      What is your research? 
JH:       My thesis is titled Regional Determinants of Charitable Giving.

GS:      What made you choose UAB for your graduate studies?
JH:       I have always wanted to work for nonprofits in a more meaningful way and felt that earning an MPA would help further my career ambitions. UAB's program is in the top ten NASPAA accredited schools in the southeast so the decision was pretty easy.

GS:      Have you received any awards or honors?
JH:       I received a scholarship from the MPA Alumni last spring based on academic achievement. 

GS:      What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?
JH:       The most rewarding experience has to be working on a marketing project for MBSH (Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless) last semester.  Our class was asked to help MBSH work on a rebranding effort for this local nonprofit.  It was extremely rewarding to work on a project with real world applications that would benefit an agency in need.

GS:      Who was your greatest influence here at UAB and why?
JH:       That is an impossible question to answer.  Every professor has been an influence in some way.  Each of the MPA professors challenges us to truly think and encourages us to look at things from a new perspective. 

GS:      What is your motivation in your academics/research?
JH:       I believe that in order to be effective in my career I must understand the issues that face nonprofits as well as the motivations of their donors.  Without this knowledge, I do not believe that I will be a positive addition to any agency.

GS:      Do you have any advice/wisdom for other graduate students?
JH:       My advice is to accept that once you enter grad school, your life is not your own.  Grad school is one of the most difficult challenges that you will experience, but if you are able to endure you will make it through and have some wonderful experience to draw from for many years to come.
GS:      What are your plans after graduating and for the future?
JH:       I plan to pursue my PhD upon graduation.  I would prefer to stay at UAB, however, there is not a PhD program available to me.  I am considering both Auburn and the Georgia State/Georgia Tech programs but do not love the idea of commuting from Birmingham.  As far as employment, my goal is to begin working for a human services nonprofit agency that deals with assisting women and girls in need.  I currently volunteer with Rape Response as a medical advocate and it is both the most rewarding and difficult work I have ever done.  If I can be lucky enough to find a job that makes me feel the same way, then I will have achieved one of my dreams.