By the time Dina Shohatee graduated in December 2018 (where she delivered the student commencement address, by the way), she was already a published, award-winning author. What’s even more remarkable, though, is that those accomplishments came in both her academic field (bioengineering) — and in creative writing.
The former included being first author in a published paper on cancer detection research — the culmination of her four years working as a biomedical research assistant. And she actually won UM-Dearborn’s Campus Writing Award twice: First as a poet and subsequently for fiction — the latter coming for an appropriately genre-blending story titled Love in a Test Tube.
Shohatee credits her ability to move fluidly along the academic spectrum to her willingness to take chances. That spirit has pushed her to take on all kinds of opportunities outside the classroom too. That included (to name a few) working as a student assistant in the Science Learning Center; helping middle school students at a STEM-focused summer camp; interning in the Disabilities Services office at UM-Dearborn; and demonstrating engineering projects for young people at Detroit’s Maker Faire.
She considers her most defining moment at UM-Dearborn — delivering that commencement address — another example of her bravery getting the best of her.
“As I was delivering the speech, I looked around, and I instantly had this warm, incredible feeling,” Shohatee said. “I could've been in one of the seats before me, listening to any student speaker they chose, but they chose me. And that's because I applied for it; I took a chance. So it made me reflect on all the choices I made that led me to that moment. UM-Dearborn has so many opportunities, and it's never too late to get involved and make a new memory.”