I am the treasurer-elect of ISSA for 2012-13 term. ISSA used to have few members before the current cabinet and as the number of Iranian students in ISU grows, there is a need for a more active organization. As part of the new cabinet, we set out to regulate events and activities in our society and give it a new better form. Developing a website for ISSA and revision of the constitution are two major steps we took during our term along with holding Nowruz and Mehregan ceremonies as usual. I, specifically, managed to receive a funding from the Government of the Student Body for the first time that covered part of Nowruz expenditure.
MEGSO is the grad student organization of the ME department of ISU. We coordinate events for our fellow students including orientation for New students, social gatherings, and presentations by students and faculty members. I am a University Relation and Legislation Affairs (URLA) coordinating MEGSO's relation with other organization and university officials.
The senate is a formal means for grad students to communicate with university officials regarding their issues at ISU. We receivenpart of the student fees paid by grad students in order to povide them with financial aid for attending professional events. GPSS collaborates with GSB in order to address graduate and professional students' needsin a broader range.
The learning community of MEGSO planned a mentoring program for new grad students joining our department. We aim to help the department with retaining students after first year and to make the grad school a better experience them. I am mentoring first and second year Master and Doctorate students as a mentor. I am also involved in decision making for the future of this program since I have the experience of the E-mentors from past.
To me it is just about being exposed to this question; what if I am the one who thinks wrong. By the time you question that, the most difficult task is started for you. Not too many people are capable of judging themselves, Not everybody is ready to risk their past. How I interpret religion and what I know god to be are proven really complicated and exciting to me. I have recently started to learn about Islam, Christianity, and Atheism.
Hiking, Mountaineering, and Climbing
I involved in mountaineering type of outdoor sport after graduation and I owe the whole thing to my friend, Mohammad Mazaheri. I can tell that no single other activity is any comparison for the fun that can be achieved from hiking in remote places. While in Iran, our group had trips to many destinations and later in the US I joined to different groups, one of them was an attempt to climb Mt. Rainier. That was a complete failure for me and I am really hoping to have another chance to get that mountain. I led a team of 5 for a weekend hike on Superior hiking trail lately. It was the first hiking attempt for everybody except for me, and we ended up being totally exhausted after only the first day, but it was real fun.
I have done several sports for fun throughout my life, swimming, football, volleyball, ping pong, and badminton. American football on the other hand sounds like no fun and is not any popular outside of the US. Since I now have a chance to experience it, I am giving it a shot. I am planning to gather a team of Iranians and train them for this and challenge my American football fellows.
This was quite an experience for me. College of engineering of the ISU initiated Engineering Mentors program in fall 2013 in order to facilitate mixing the student with different cultural backgrounds. The ideas started to take place when they realized that groups of students working on school projects tend to be of the people from same countries based on new statistics. The plan was to have international graduate mentors of the same discipline and domestic freshman mentees meet almost every other week during a semester and vice versa. As a mentor, it was a challenge for me to keep freshman students excited about these meetings. I set out to change the general mindset of American students which is to get a job after they graduate along with that expected cultural influence. Our group was one of the two to keep their sessions in the optional second semester and till the end of that year. At least one of my mentees decided to take the grad school seriously despite already working as an intern and having a job offer. The unique experience here was to get people do what you want, without having the authority upon them.