Alumni Alumni In Action In Their Own Words

Women Breaking Barriers and Paving the Way Forward

For Women’s History Month, we cast the spotlight on some spectacular women who are not just assets to our thriving alumni community but to the country at large.

Here’s more about them in their own words:

Zara Zahid

Zara Zahid - can use as display picture

Fulbrighter Zara Zahid graduated from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago in 2023, served as the assistant commissioner in Sindh, and is currently the deputy secretary in the Ministry of Finance. She is passionate about women empowerment and inclusion.

“I am committed to empowering young girls and women to break through societal norms and join the ranks of the civil service of Pakistan. I believe women have a responsibility to support each other in creating a safe and inclusive space where everyone can thrive. Despite the challenges we face, I know that together, we can bring color and diversity to public offices and make a positive impact in our communities,” says Zahid.

Shan e Zehra Lashari

Shan e Zehra

Shan e Zehra Lashari graduated with a master’s in petroleum engineering from West Virginia University in 2018 and is currently the senior assistant director of aviation security at the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority. In this role, she ensures that all the businesses operating under the umbrella of aviation are in coherence with international security standards, including airport security protocols.

“Hard work can lead to great achievements, but true wisdom comes from perseverance. Despite the challenges of balancing motherhood and personal growth, facing life’s realities and taking things one step at a time can help us overcome even the most hopeless situations,” notes Lashari.

Humera Sabir

Humera Sabir

Humera, currently a PhD student at the University of Texas at Arlington, encourages all girls to dream as big as they can.

“In my village, with its single school, eight classes, and just two teachers, dreaming of higher education was a defiance of norms, especially for a girl. Now, I’m in the United States, pursuing my doctorate in computer science on a Fulbright scholarship,” she says proudly. “This was a journey that once seemed impossible. It shows that with determination, support, and a willingness to challenge the status quo, there are no limits to what we can achieve. To every girl facing similar challenges, your dreams are valid, and you can overcome societal barriers with courage and support. Dare to dream, dare to defy, and dare to break through.”

Dr. Shamim Shahi

shamim shahi 1

Hailing from the scenic district of Upper Chitral in Pakistan, Fulbright alumna Dr. Shamim Shahi began her journey at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where she earned her PhD in epidemiology in 2022 with a specialization in cancer epidemiology. Her dissertation focused on exploring gender differences in breast cancer treatment decisions. Currently, Shahi is a postdoctoral fellow at the American Cancer Society.

“From a remote village in Pakistan to earning a PhD in the United States, my journey has been one of self-discovery and connection. A heartfelt thank you to Fulbright for this life-changing experience. I pledge to carry forward the kindness and support I’ve received from mentors, supervisors, colleagues, friends, and Fulbright program officers,” says Dr. Shamim.

Ramiah Adeen

Ramiah Adeen

Ramiah Adeen completed her MBA in social innovation and entrepreneurship from Colorado State University in 2023. She is the CEO and Founder of We4Women, a non-profit that partners with employers to offer safe and affordable communal residences to working women in Pakistan.

“When I relocated from Multan to Lahore to pursue my career, my colleagues and I had difficulty finding quality, affordable, and safe residential spaces. I was introduced to a gap in the market, and I took it upon myself to fill it,” she explains. “Thus began my journey towards facilitating the integration of female professionals into the workplace with the help of safe, affordable, and quality communal housing.”

Amna Junaid

Amna Junaid

Global UGRAD alumna Amna Junaid hails from a Pashtun background and earned her bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from International Islamic University. She is a sketch artist, influencer, digital illustrator, and founder of SA’AM, an organization dedicated to eradicating poverty, offering education to underprivileged students, and providing essential medical assistance. Amna spent a semester at Kent State University in 2022.

“Despite facing numerous challenges – financial and emotional – I persevered. I achieved my education independently, established an organization to support children like me, and built my own art business. Let’s turn our weaknesses into strengths!” she says.

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