CBSelfie with Issraa Hussein

February 11, 2020

After graduating in December, this recent alum reflects on her summer in Istanbul and time in CBS.

Issraa Hussein

Hometown: Jerusalem, Palestine

Majors: Biology, Spanish Studies 

Why did you pick this field of study? 
I took a human biology and ethics course as a high school student at the University of Minnesota’s Postsecondary Enrollment Option (PSEO). It sparked my interest in thinking about how our bodies work and allowed me to critically think about societal implications of scientific research.

Outside of classes and study sessions, what kept you busy on campus? 
During my time at the U, I was involved with a student group called Students for Justice in Palestine. The group aims to educate the community about Palestine and get students to listen. This issue may seem broad and too far removed for many students, but it also impacts us a lot here in the United States and at the University of Minnesota. 

What did you do this past summer?
This summer I went to Istanbul and participated in the Eksələns (means ‘excellence’ in Arabic) Academy. The program brought together a group of muslim students from around the world — from 18 to 28 years old — from different experiences and backgrounds. The program gives Muslim students a place to exchange ideas and talk about topics that are almost exclusively portrayed in a western perspective in academia. It was really energizing as a Muslim and motivated me to continue building strong Muslim communities here.

How did working as a teaching assistant impact your experience in CBS?
I am so thankful that I have an opportunity to TA during my time in the college. I learned a lot of skills just by observing Amy (the instructor) and teaching the material to the students. CBS students have so many interesting ideas and experiences and I love being able to learn from the students as well! 

Hussein was honered this fall with a University Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) award for her work with the Students for Justice in Palestine group, as well as a teacher at a weekend school.