Bianca Khatibshahidi believes she can make a positive impact—one small step at a time.
“I believe I can be a small catalyst of change, which will snowball into a mass proportion of students doing their part for the world,” she said. “This is what will change the world—one person at a time.”
One way Khatibshahidi plans to make a global impact is through her participation in research. She currently works with Assistant Professor Brenda Whitehead in the university’s Aging Well Lab, taking an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and exploring aging. Their research is used in collaboration with local agencies to address key issues facing the local aging population.
“My interest in studying aging stems from my love for my grandparents, who have always taught me to be of service to humanity,” Khatibshahidi said, noting that her grandfather had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, for which there is no known cause or cure.
“It is my dream to aid in the future advancements of medicine so patients and their loved ones can have hope and relief.”
Khatibshahidi’s impact extends beyond the research lab. She has volunteered at Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families and at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center OB/Trauma Clinic. She has served as vice president of Psychology Students Association and is a founding member of the university’s chapter of Active Minds, which works to reduce the stigma of mental illness. And she works on campus as a lead SI for the Supplemental Instruction program.
Through SI, she has made a difference to both the students she tutors and other supplemental instructors.
“As a leader, she helps UM-Dearborn students build study skills that will last a lifetime. By her second semester as a SI leader, I asked Bianca to mentor other leaders,” said SI Supervisor Deborah Roundtree. “Her kind and thoughtful approach to helping others improve their leadership skills was appreciated by her mentees, who frequently told me her support and advice was very useful.”
Khatibshahidi is committed to continuing to develop as a leader in order to best serve her community—she has completed the Blueprints Leadership Institute and the Wolverine Leadership Cohort—and is grateful for the opportunities UM-Dearborn has provided.
“I thank UM-Dearborn for giving me the opportunity to blossom and become the person I am meant to be,” she said.