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Class of 2024 Spotlight: Sasha Ronaghi

Sasha Ronaghi is graduating from Stanford with a B.S. in computer science and a minor in global studies, with a specialization in Iranian studies.

“I chose Iranian studies because I wanted to learn the intellectual side of my culture and be more familiar with my culture and history,” said Ronaghi, whose family is from Iran.

Next year, she plans to complete a co-terminal master’s in computer science. Read the Q&A below to learn more about her undergraduate experience.

Tell us about your favorite experience as an Iranian studies minor.

I really loved the Iranian cuisine class and the opportunity to experience new facets of Iranian cuisine and learn about why we eat things the way we do. I am surprised that rice, tomatoes, and tea are relatively new introductions to Iranian cuisine. I also really liked the [Iranian Studies] dinners with speakers and meeting the guests.

As you reflect on your time at Stanford, what are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the friends that I made. I owe a large part of this to the Iranian Studies Program because the events and classes have allowed me to meet more Iranians who are still my close friends today. I think there is something special about making friends who share your culture and, sadly, for most of my Stanford career, I dearly missed out on this. Going to events together has helped me build friendships with other Iranian students, which have translated outside of the program.

Why did you choose to study Iran? How has your minor changed your understanding of the world and prepared you for your next steps?

I wanted to study Iran because my family is from Iran, and I wanted to learn more about my culture and history. I also was taking a lot of computer science classes and wanted to explore my creative and social analysis side. It has allowed me to be more grateful and cognizant of my own experiences because I know my culture and history better.