Hi everyone! I’m Hassan Farah (he/him/his) and I’m a 2nd year PhD student in the Translational Biology Medicine & Health Program. My focus area is still a work in progress but the main goal is to find new methods to introduce biomechanical tools and equipment to the field of pediatric therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy. Through one way or another I continue to find myself in service positions; I’m the Executive Director for The Big Event in Roanoke, a student liaison to TBMH and I assist with recruitment.
I was born and raised in Southern Arizona and went to the University of Arizona for my undergrad. My major was physiology but I devoted a majority of my time to peer mentorship, student affairs and advocacy. Being only a few hours away from the border in such a blue pocket of a predominantly red state has made activism almost second nature to me and many of my friends. Resultantly, I’ve held positions on advisory boards, search committees, I’ve been the president of the Black Honors Society and the Black Student Union—to many people’s surprise (including my own at times) I’ve ended up dedicating my future to research and not student affairs.
Working with and for children who have disabilities is an amazing opportunity to deliver an immediate change in someone’s life. I’ve found a similar emotion in this line of research that I was so familiar with during my undergrad years; a feeling I was afraid I’d have to sacrifice to the “scientific progress”. I know that the experiences I’ve had were immensely useful in shaping the man I am today, I believe that through research i’ll be able to climb higher to the point where I can directly open so many doors that were closed to students like me before. I appreciate all that academia has given to me but the reality is there are so many more qualified folks that will never get access to education if things remain this way; hopefully I can make a change there as well 🙂