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College of Health Solutions grad with outstanding GPA has eyes set on physician assistant school


College of Health Solutions graduate Sireen Ghazawna

College of Health Solutions graduate Sireen Ghazawna always wanted to attend ASU.

April 30, 2024

By Aidan Hansen

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates.

A first-generation Arizona State University student with a 4.2 GPA, Sireen Ghazawna is graduating from the College of Health Solutions with a bachelor’s degree in medical studies.

Born in Palestine and raised in Arizona, Ghazawna always imagined herself as an ASU student. She transferred from Paradise Valley Community College.

“I felt like starting out at community college and getting those core classes done first, and then establishing myself at ASU made it a smoother transition. I was more confident going to ASU,” she said.

During winter 2023, Executive Director of Student Success Ron Hicks informed her that she had been awarded two scholarships because of her outstanding GPA.

“I can't even explain just how thankful I was for Dr. Hicks, and I still am to this day — he made things possible for me,” Ghazawna said.

Ghazawna is currently applying for physician assistant school and hopes she can find a program in Arizona.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I met with one of my advisors, and she was the one who told me about medical studies. I knew I wanted something in medicine and didn't know what that looked like. Something great about ASU is having a major that is catered toward whatever pathway you choose.

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

A: ASU just made me realize the impact of policy decisions on public health outcomes. It motivated me to engage in health care advocacy efforts and work towards policy changes that benefit communities, especially with a physician’s assistant profession. I feel like we always constantly have to advocate for our profession.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: I established good connections with all of my professors. But I feel like the one who made the most impact on me was probably Professor Carl Wagner. I took organic chemistry with him. I was always super scared to take this class, but he was amazing. He always walked me through everything, he was very patient with me and he always gave me the best advice. Even after exams, he always told me that you're going to make it; he was always very encouraging.

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

A: The lawn near the Sun Devil Fitness Center. It's a place where I would always go in the morning; the weather was always cool and nice.

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

A: Establish a relationship with your professors — that's going to take you so far.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I'm already initiating the process of applying to PA (physician assistant) school. My No. 1 choice is Midwestern University.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I feel like a lot of students want to go to college; they want to have a higher education. But that money has become a problem, and they just don't end up going to school. So maybe making schools more affordable.

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