Research Fellows 2021-2022: Maymunah Ahmed and Rubab Raza

Rubab Raza & Maymunah Ahmed

Rubab Raza

Rubab Raza is a Union College student, who is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Economics, hoping to pursue a career in medicine. Rubab is passionate about addressing public health crises–a passion that began with a middle school project on the commodity, scarcity, and power of water access. She describes realizing how precious of a resource clean water was and how this basic human right was denied to so many communities, who end up suffering from many preventable diseases. Rubab was inspired by the Aseemkala Initiative, stating her background as a young Muslim woman gives her insight into the powerful relationship between culture and healthcare outcomes. She was particularly inspired by a Union College class called “Medicine in Literature”, stating “I learned of the importance of imagery…it is impactful because you really don’t understand or feel what someone else is going through until you read or listen to their story.” She says “I want to lean so much during this internship and one day give back to my community and the place I came from”. When she’s not studying, you can find Rubab reading or playing basketball.

Maymunah Ahmed

Maymunah Ahmed is a Union College student who is a Neuroscience Major and a History minor. She has been involved in many community-based programs on campus, pushed to pass ordinances to improve health laws in her hometown, conducts research, and volunteers at a local nursing home. She says this multifaceted work gives her a better understanding of how science plays out in relationships and daily life. In her free time, she creates visual art, using drawing and painting as a way to express and explore her identity as a Black Muslim woman and her growing relationship with medicine and humanistic care. She is excited to be an intern at the Aseemkala Initiative, hoping to continue to blend cultural arts with healthcare to transform how patients of color experience illness and recovery. She can be found in her room studying or creating the next visual masterpiece.

Project Goals: Build a research database on cultural arts, medical humanities and clinical care and create personal projects on dance and culture in medicine.
  • Organize articles and podcasts and videos through weekly searches
  • Create a project and short write up on the connection between cultural arts and healthcare
  • Identify changemakers in the field of cultural arts and healthcare

Did you know that Maymunah and Rubab are poets? Check out Maymunah’s and Rubab’s performances at the Reimagining Medicine Festival at Dartmouth Medical School, 2021