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Dean’s Scholar Making a Difference through Cultural Awareness

An Irani-American raised in the United States by her Iranian parents, Monica has spent her entire life bridging two different cultures. Establishing a global perspective at a young age, she would enjoy each morning reading the newspaper with her father. "My parents really encouraged me to formulate my own ideas."

Currently a CLAS Dean’s Scholar in her second year at Portland State, Monica is a budding historian, who continues to deepen that global perspective through history and world language courses. With two languages already under her belt (Farsi and English), Monica is learning a third, Spanish, to better understand the culture of Latin America, her primary area of study. Monica credits her Dean’s Scholarship to giving her a deeper sense of responsibility and allowing her to focus on her education without the worry of financial stress: “I’m thankful to have this scholarship, so I devote my time to my studies. It’s my number one priority.”

Monica’s desire to learn and teach cultural awareness is evident in both her studies and her community involvement; to accompany her liberal arts education, she participates in the Iranian Student Association of Portland State (founded by Monica’s older sister), the PSU Symphony (as an accomplished violinist), and ASPSU. Next year, she hopes to begin volunteering at the Oregon Historical Society. Inspired by the world around her, Monica notes “all the stuff I do, I do because I love it.”



Author: Chelsea Bailey