Immeasurable opportunities through service and researchAmira Nafiseh | Biology & Medical Humanities & Health Studies | Undergrad | Biology Department Biology undergraduate shares IUPUI experience in her words.
Amira Nafiseh made the most with her time as a student—from being chosen as a 2018 Top 10 student to participating in research. Nafiseh was also a 2019 William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion recipient, Academic Achievement Award for Medical Humanities and Health Studies, and Women’s Leadership Award recipient. Nafiseh recounts her memories and opportunities at IUPUI.
“I am honored that IUPUI selected me as a 2018 Top 10 student and will be forever grateful as the institution has opened more doors to community service and research than I ever imagined possible, offered me numerous resources, such as mentors and international experiences, and has overall confirmed my passion to live a life of serving others as a physician.
“Partaking in the many leadership opportunities that the Sam H. Jones Community Service Program offers (...) I have been a site leader in the campus-wide days of service, participated in alternative break trips, interned at AMPATH, a non-profit in the IU Center for Global Health, and served with IUPUI Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement staff.
Nafiseh with friends at Jagapalooza 2018.
“Research opportunities have also been obtainable due to IUPUI’s proximity to the School of Medicine. Under Dr. Nerissa Bauer, I used qualitative research approaches to incorporate patient voice into medical interventions currently being designed. Conducting interviews with patients’ families and physicians who participated in these groups allowed me to observe the necessity for support and empathy not confined to short doctor appointments.
“The Neuroscience Club, Muslim Student Association, Medical Humanities Club, and American Medical Student Association have served as outlets for me to gain expertise in transferable skills and build an extensive network. Additionally, Global Medical Brigades has been an integral part of my undergraduate career. Serving as a leader led me to develop a stronger sense of cultural humility, increased communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills individually and as part of a team when working through challenges on campus and abroad.
"After leading students on my second week-long medical service trip however, I realized the ethical issues that accompany the increasing trend in global health service. To investigate volunteer perceptions on the sustainability and ethics of these brigades, my Co-President and I conducted a case study with former students to determine how volunteering abroad has affected their beliefs. We conducted 25 open-ended interviews to address how these week-long medical mission trips may or may not contribute to the resilience of underserved communities and analyzed results and presented our findings at the International Health Humanities Conference at Stanford University.
Nafiseh during the 2019 Plater Medallion Ceremony.
“Planning and participating in professional events has also impacted my growth as a student on and off campus. Collaborating with the Medical Humanities Club executive board to plan and execute the first Midwest Undergraduate Medical Humanities Conference provided a novel way to engage students in humanistic approaches to medicine. This event provided an avenue for multiple students to present their research and resulted in the creation of a larger community of individuals interested in the interdisciplinary field of medical humanities and its role in medicine.
“Overall, IUPUI has provided me with an immeasurable amount of opportunities and has taught me that I can pursue anything that I set my mind to.”