#PROFspective: Philosophy & Religion, Biological Sciences Major Mahaa Ahmed

Mahaa stands in a dress, with arms outstretched

Today, we speak with Mahaa Ahmed, a junior philosophy and religion studies and biological sciences double major from Washington Township (Gloucester County), NJ, who resides on campus in 220 Rowan Boulevard. Mahaa will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.

Name: Mahaa M. Ahmedgirl standing in front of brick
Majors: Biological Science within the College of Science & Mathematics and Philosophy & Religion Studies within the College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Minors or concentrations: Minor in Dance within College of Performing Arts; Bantivoglio Honors concentration
Year: Junior

Hometown and County: Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County)

Resident: Yes, 220 Rowan Boulevard

Academic clubs: Bantivoglio Leadership and Service Training (BLAST) Mentor; Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Professional Honor Society

Do you work on campus? I am a student worker in the Outreach Office of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. I coordinate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) visits for K-12 students to come learn about different aspects of engineering. I am also a research assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering, investigating arsenic removal from drinking water under Dr. C.S. Slater. This past summer, I worked in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley as part of the ReNUWIt (Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure) REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in which I researched the impact of sanitation via detection of pathogenic coli in environmental samples from rural Bangladesh.
bunce steps smilingDo you have an off-campus job? I am a volunteer for Caring Hospice Services. I do various activities with terminally ill patients.

Why did you choose your major? I chose to major in biological science as it will help me reach my ultimate goal of becoming a physician-scientist (MD/PhD). I added philosophy and religion studies with a concentration in philosophy as my second major after I became really interested in one of my classes. Originally, I believed that engineering, math, and science and the creative, performing, and visual arts were dichotomous. However, I have grown to recognize that the two seemingly different subjects are inexorably intertwined. As such, while pursuing my passion for biological science, I endeavor to cultivate my love of dance through my dance minor.

One reason why you chose Rowan? One reason I chose Rowan University is because of my mother! I was born right after my sitting by flowersmother, Dr. Kauser Jahan, joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1997 and I spent a lot of time on campus since a very young age. I spent many days in her office in Rowan Hall as a baby! Getting to see my mom every day in between classes is definitely one of the highlights of going to school here. Rowan has always felt like home to me and I could not imagine being elsewhere!

My typical day as a Rowan student:
My typical day varies and is usually hectic but always filled with things that I enjoy doing. I have an especially busy semester this fall between taking 21 credits (yikes!), studying for graduate/medical school entrance exams, and balancing everything else from friends and family in between.

I start every morning with a cardio barre class with Pure Barre. On Mondays, I wake up by 6:30 a.m. because I have biometry lab at 8:00 a.m., followed by Introduction to Philosophy. After classes, I go to Rowan Hall where I am a student worker in the College of Engineering’s Outreach Office. Before work, I usually eat lunch with my mother, which gives us a chance to catch up with each other.

dance studio posingOn Tuesdays and Thursdays, I usually wake up by 7:00 a.m. and go to work in Rowan Hall from 8:30 a.m to 10:30 a.m. I have class from 11:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. I start my day with cell biology, followed by aesthetics, dance history, and biometry. The best part of my schedule is having a mix of biology, philosophy, and dance classes. I am really interested in all my classes and especially enjoy having classes that are both focused on lecture and focused on discussion. Afterwards, I try to take a quick power nap back in my apartment and eat dinner.

On Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., my Honors BLAST (Bantivoglio Leadership and Service Training) co-mentor and I host our group meetings during which we mentor freshmen in the Honors program to help them better acclimate to life at Rowan. After our meeting, I continue doing my homework as well as taking time to study and review class notes for the rest of the evening. Before going to bed each day, I take the time to Skype my grandmother who lives in Bangladesh.

On the weekends, I volunteer with hospice patients and continue to work towards completing my Kathak Visharad. Kathak is a classical Indian dance form and a Visharad refers to the final graduation performance regarding mastery of the dance form.

We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here.

Story organized and photography by:
Vanessa Vause, junior public relations major and advertising minor

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Ask the Expert: Philosophy & Religion Studies
The Kid Behind the Rowan Video [Video]

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