Senior Spotlight: October 2011
Shahryar, our Social Committee Co-Chair, hails from the California town of Aliso Viejo and aspires to be a physician or psychologist after he completes his undergraduate education in Neuroscience. He loves playing and watching basketball (thank goodness the lockout is over!), cooking and dining, doing the Tango, spending time with friends, reading and mediating. He's very active in extracurricular and off-campus activities and acts as an Assistant to the Venice Family Clinic, Co-Director of InnoWorks at UCLA, and a Student Leader of the Office of Residential Life--among other things! There's much he can be proud of, but he considers his greatest achievement to be learning to embrace his strengths and weaknesses. Please continue reading as we turn the spotlight on Shahryar!
Describe your personality in three words:
Compassionate, lovable, lighthearted
What is your best quality? Give an experience when you have put this quality to use.
My dedication. I mean what I say and I won’t let you down.
What are your interests?
I love spending time with friends and family, playing various sports (although not particularly well), watching various sports, reading, exploring new places, eating, trying new foods, trying to cook, and making unforgettable memories with unforgettable people.
What do you like about UCLA?
I love the diversity of things to do and people to meet. You never get bored. The campus and surrounding area are so beautiful as well. Why would anyone want to leave?
What is one thing you would like to change at UCLA?
I would change UCLA to the semester system and add a zero week to each quarter. I personally think it would give students a greater opportunity to enjoy what UCLA has to offer and more time to process information and stay on top of school work in their courses.
What has been your biggest learning experience?
Learning to keep on fighting when you want to quit because if you hang in there your life will change drastically for the better.
Name two movies you could watch over and over again? Why?
Braveheart and Princess Bride. Both epic films that touch my heart every time.
What is your favorite book and why?
One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. It’s simply a classic book that exemplifies the power of man to stand up to the machine and I admire the bravery of Randle McMurphy.
If you could meet anyone in history who would it be and why?
Leonardo da Vinci. An incredible innovator way ahead of his time. A true renaissance man that I’d be honored to meet.
If you could go anywhere in the world for a day where would you go and why?
I’d love to go to Spain. I’m very interested in Spanish culture and I adore the history and architecture the country has to offer.
What career would you like to pursue after graduation? Why?
I’d like to pursue a career in healthcare or education because of my passion for the sciences, working with others, and teaching.
What characteristics does it take to become a great leader?
Great leaders possess a unique compassion and understanding for others and hold themselves responsible for getting things done. It takes compassion to assess what people want and need to gain support and respect from others. It also takes an individual with a strong will who will blame his or herself if goals aren’t met, things aren’t done, and people are let down.
Name one person you admire? Why?
Nikki Tavasoli. She cares about me and is there for me more than any person I know, and I love her for that and more.
Who has been your most influential professor and why?
Dr. Arnold Scheibel professor of Neuroscience 102: Introduction to the Functional Anatomy of the Central Nervous System. Dr. Scheibel is the most eloquently spoken person I know and is extremely passionate about his work and teaching. He has the heart of a champion.
Which is the one television character that you simply adore?
I love SpongeBob Squares Pants because he’s always positive and tries his best to do the right thing even if others disapprove. He’s a hard worker and is passionate about life and I admire and respect his dedication to the Krusty Krab’s and jelly fishing.
What are the three most played songs on your iPod?
Walk – Foo Fighters
You Da One – Rihanna
5 O’Clock – T-Pain
If given a choice, which animal would you want to be and why?
I would be a giant panda because they are cute and adorable but have incredible strength.
Have you traveled outside of the United States? If so, where?
I have traveled to Canada, Mexico, and Iran.
What is the funniest prank played by you or on you?
I’m not usually a prankster, but for Halloween, my roommates and I stealthily covered our neighbor’s room in fake cobwebs, dressed-up pumpkins, decals of bats, and other cheesy decorations in very hard to reach places…some of which he probably hasn’t found yet. I think we’ll repeat it on every holiday – wait, I probably shouldn’t announce that here.
What does being a member of Mortar Board mean to you?
It means having a reputation to live up to, and having the honor of being part of a huge national organization, which I think it’s easy for members at their individual chapter level to sometimes overlook. It means upholding a tradition and using one’s clout on campus for good, while meeting and becoming a family with some of the most amazing seniors ever to strut down Bruin Walk.