ReinaAfiouniIt was inevitable that Reina Afiouni of Tripoli, Lebanon would end up in a health care profession. She grew up in a family of healthcare providers: grandfather was a pharmacist, father is a doctor and her sister is a dentist. She earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy from a prominent university in Lebanon in 2009 and worked for several years. But she set her sight on another health care degree.

“I set myself a goal to receive a Clinical Laboratory Science degree from a well-known university to allow me to be a director of a clinical laboratory to better serve my community,” said Afiouni.

She didn’t have to go too far to ask for advice for the best school in the U.S. Her husband, Taha Ghannoum, recently graduated from the Master’s of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science program.

“After doing some research I realized that UAB School of Health Professions is one of the most important and prominent health profession schools in the country,” said Afiouni. “I decided then to get enrolled as a graduate student. After getting accepted, I knew that a great opportunity had opened up for me.”

Afiouni is not only living in a foreign country, but English is her third language and she’s balancing school with a 16-month-old daughter.

“It was a great challenge to leave my family and friends behind and come to the US, but it was a great opportunity to pursue my studies overseas and succeed in such an elaborate curriculum,” said Afiouni.

After she graduates in summer 2013, she said she’s not finished with school yet. She plans to get further advanced degrees in the different fields of Clinical Laboratory Science and hopes to work at a prominent clinical laboratory site in the U.S. Her long-term plan is to take all that knowledge back home to Lebanon.

“My husband and I dream of opening our own clinical laboratory site to better serve the patients of our community,” said Afiouni.