“While I was eager to study engineering to learn how to design breakthrough technologies, I was equally driven to have an interdisciplinary education,” says Persiana Saffari, who graduated from Stanford in 2020 with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering, as well as minors in biology and global studies, with a concentration in Iranian studies.
“The intersection of health, technology, and policy is particularly interesting to me. I feel lucky that I had the chance to explore each of those areas through concentrating in biology, engineering, and global studies,” she shared.
Persiana completed a capstone project for her minor in global studies under the mentorship of Dr. Abbas Milani, the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies. “My project focused on the growing public health concern of alcoholism in Iran, and effective mitigation strategies for combatting this troubling crisis,” she said.
Working with Dr. Milani was one of the most meaningful parts of her Stanford experience. “One of the highlights of minoring in global studies was being a beneficiary of Professor Milani’s exceptional tutelage; each of his lectures and talks left me inspired and deepened my motivation to research the policies and people that have shaped Iran.”
Outside of academics, Persiana is grateful that she had the opportunity to meet many exceptional people while at Stanford. “I owe my fondest memories and best accomplishments to the advisors, mentors, professors, and friends whose inspiration, support, and dedication made my studies and extracurricular endeavors so enjoyable, enlightening, and worthwhile,” she shared.
Unfortunately, she was not able to spend spring quarter at Stanford due to the COVID-19 crisis. She deeply misses interacting with her instructors, mentors, and friends in person but is looking forward to the day when she can see everyone again.
Next year, Persiana is excited to be starting medical school. She believes her minor program has played an important role in preparing her for the future. “Minoring in global studies gave me the invaluable opportunity to study Iranian politics, culture, language, and public health. The unparalleled instruction I received will last me a lifetime; and I feel eager and equipped to use the lessons learned from my classes to effect meaningful change in medicine and policy.”