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Global health major puts faith in ASU

January 15, 2014

Editor's Note: This story is part of an ongoing series about student excellence at the university. To read more about some of ASU's outstanding students, click here.

Like most Sun Devils, Hana Alkahlout came to Arizona State University to change the world. She knew that the top-notch faculty and hands-on research opportunities would put her on the fast track to becoming a doctor.

Alkahlout moved to Arizona from Charlotte, N.C., at the recommendation of her older sister, who transferred to ASU in the pursuit of a criminal justice degree. Her sister went on to complete law school, and is now practicing in the Valley. Alkahlout says this positive example gave her hope that she, too, could follow her lifelong passion for service.

Once a Sun Devil, she enrolled as a global health major in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“I really love the global health program because it’s so well-rounded. It’s broadened my perspective of the people and world around me. It’s really a beautiful major,” she said.

Her passion for health is influenced by her faith in the Muslim religion. Alkahlout sites a passage from the holy book that says if you are able to save one life, you have the power to save mankind.

“My religion has basically shaped who I am, how I think and how I see the world. I try to obey the Islamic rule by being pious, kind, charitable and friendly. ASU is so diverse that I have been able to find Muslim student organizations and support,” she said.

Becoming a doctor will allow her to help someone new every day. She would like to extend this reach to countries outside of the United States.

“In America, many problems are associated with health, like heart disease and obesity. Around the world people are faced with issues related to war trauma. They don’t live long enough to have the same problems,” she said.

Alkahlout will soon travel to New Zealand to study abroad. The course curriculum will examine health issues found in differing environments, as well as the culture of the country.

“I chose New Zealand because I’ve heard such great things about it. I’ve never left the country, so this will be an eye-opening experience."

After earning her bachelor’s degree, the ASU junior plans to apply to the University of Arizona Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. She hopes to one day provide financial support to students like herself, who rely on government funded grants and scholarships to pay for college.

The School of Human Evolution and Social Change is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.