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Gratitude-driven grad aspires to a career in dentistry

College of Integrative Sciences and Arts accomplished graduate explored various health majors before deciding on pre-dental concentration


Mariam Khan

Mariam Khan is graduating with a bachelor's degree in applied biological sciences from the School of Applied Sciences and Arts in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at ASU's Polytechnic campus. Photo courtesy of Mariam Khan

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December 07, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2023 graduates.

A daughter of immigrant parents, Mariam Khan said she feels fortunate to have access to education, and this perspective empowered her to make the most of her time at Arizona State University.

“A lot of people around the world do not have such privilege and can only dream of going to school,” she said.

Eager to forge a successful path for herself, Khan chose a bachelor’s degree in applied biological sciences in the School of Applied Sciences and Arts in ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. She said that this degree enabled her to weigh various health pathways — she even shadowed a dentist — until deciding on the pre-dental concentration.

“I figured out what I liked and disliked when I went outside of my comfort zone,” Khan said. “College is a time for growth, and mistakes are inevitable. I took my mistakes as an opportunity to grow.”

Following graduation, Khan will maintain this mindset as she prepares for the dental school entrance exam in June and decides on the dental speciality she would like to pursue.

In the meantime, she will spread her positivity by uplifting refugees at her favorite organization, Helping Hand for Relief and Development.

Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom, lab or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

Answer: I learned that everyone fails an exam, an assignment or a quiz at some point, but that doesn’t mean you will not excel in the class. If you push through, recognize your mistakes and ask for help, you can still do amazing in the class!

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU due to the wide variety of classes it offers, the big campuses where I could meet different people, and because it was close to home.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Have fun in college. This is the time to figure out what you are passionate about, so leave your comfort zone! Also, don’t compare your college journey to others’ journeys. Everyone has different things they want to prioritize, so there is no point in comparison.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: When the weather was nice, I loved to be outside. Sometimes I would sit on the grass with my friends. Soaking up the sun and talking with my friends in between classes are some of my favorite memories during college.

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