Freshman catches eye of NASA
“I was a little shocked but very excited about receiving a grant for something I’m very interested in,” she said. “Also, as a freshman I felt like it was a great accomplishment.”
Originally from New York, Javid relocated with her family to Fort Smith in 2004. She spent most of her adolescence in the public school system before transferring to spend her junior and senior years at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, a renown residential high school located in Hot Springs. The college-level courses and lab experiences later formed a backdrop for what would become one of her key pursuits: biology.
“I took genetics my senior year in high school and I really enjoyed it,” she said. “You can genetically modify things and that’s part of biotechnology, so I was really interested in that.”
Javid was selected as a Chancellors Leadership Core scholar and serves as a member of the Muslim Student Association. She said that while she could have opted for a larger school, she would rather be recognized for her achievements than anonymously bury herself in a larger setting. She is also enthusiastic about the faculty-student interaction taking place on a regular basis at UALR.
“I think there are a lot of people that can help guide you to whatever your goal is and whatever path you’re going to,” she said. “Dr. Ali has always been willing to give students opportunities if they’re willing to work for them. My experience is going really well.”
Javid’s other inspiration comes from her family. Her parents, who migrated from Pakistan to the United States before she was born, fostered a strong emphasis on education for their four children and urged them to complete high school and attend college. As a result, Javid is the second in her family to assume the role of a first-generation college student.
“Since they came from Pakistan, [my parents] were unable to go to school,” she said. “They always pushed us to strive for our goals. They’re always really supportive of me.”
After completing her education at UALR, Javid plans to enter a prestigious medical school and become a physician. Though her research has already garnered her recognition from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Javid said she will continue to work just as hard — if not harder — to make her goals a reality.
“I want to become a physician because the [medical] field is constantly progressing and changing. Being a part in that would definitely leave a positive mark on society and would also keep my mind in learning mode.”