Biology and chemistry minor Nora Bouzihay knew she wanted to pursue the sciences since attending the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs (a boarding school for high school students).
Since a requirement for high school graduation was to complete a senior thesis, she worked in the field of biochemistry dealing with diabetes and was able to use equipment in the lab of UALR chemistry Professor Dr. Anindya Ghosh, which got her foot in the door in research.
Since coming to UALR, Bouzihay found a passion for research by interning with the FDA in Maryland on canine stem cells, opening up a potential future career.
“The main goal for my Donaghey Scholars Senior Project is to identify small molecule inhibitors of hpol eta and hpol theta activity in breast cancer cells,” Bouzihay said.
When not in the lab, she stays busy as the president of the Muslim Student Association and International Simulations Association, orientation leader for UALR, associate justice for the Student Government Association, and an African-American Female Initiative mentor.
Through the Donaghey Scholars Program, Bouzihay had the opportunity to study abroad in Morocco to study Arabic, and she speaks four languages.
“By staying involved in scientific research I found a passion for biomedical research that I never knew I had,” she said.
Bouzihay said that with the help of Dr. Rebecca Glazier, assistant professor of political science at UALR, she has been honored as the assistant secretary general of the National Model Arab League through the National Council of U.S-Arab Relations.
Last March, she and several other students from UALR participated in the National Model Arab League conference held on the Georgetown University campus in Washington D.C., where Bouzihay was able to meet with the Iraqi Ambassador to the United States in the Iraqi Embassy and the Prince of Saudi Arabia.
After graduation, Bouzihay hopes to attend a health-based professional school to continue pursuing her passion of biomedical research.
Listen to Part Two of Nora’s interview