From Iraq to ASU, Taghreed Adnan wants her language to help others

February 13, 2018

For Taghreed Adnan, studying Arabic at the School for International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University wasn’t just a way to brush up on her language skills. It allowed her to connect with a culture and language she had to leave behind in Baghdad when her family escaped the Iraq War.

A biochemistry major with goals of her own optometry practice, Adnan recognized that her language background was a major asset, both to her work and her own interests. Taghreed Adnan Taghreed Adnan hopes that her language skills will make her an inclusive optometrist . Download Full Image

“I’m really blessed to be taking my classes,” Adnan said. “I spoke Arabic when I was younger, but after we came to the U.S. — I’ve been here for about a decade now — it’s been hard to find people who speak Arabic. My community has been pretty small. It’s been nice to step back into it.”

Adnan’s family left Iraq in 2006 for Jordan and lived there as refugees for three years, in hiding until they got United Nations cards and enrolled Adnan and her siblings in international school. That’s where she first studied English, which helped when they moved to Arizona. Despite this, she said the culture shock lasted for a couple of years.

“Not being able to speak perfect English, or not knowing where to go to get food, it was really, really rough,” Adnan remembered.

“I thought my Arabic was not good, so I was never brave enough to take an Arabic class … but I made friends and became more comfortable translating for students. It was a good opportunity for me to take this class.”

She said studying Arabic again has made her last semester at ASU memorable. In addition to school, she works at two different eye-care clinics.

“There’s a lot of people in Phoenix who have a language barrier, specifically Arabic,” she said. “I’ve been in situations every couple of months where I have to translate for the doctor to communicate properly.”

Adnan said that has been happening to her ever since she moved to the United States.

“We see 20 to 50 patients a day, and I’m not going to lie, a lot of our patients are international,” Adnan said. “Being able to be comfortable speaking to people from other cultures is really important. Being able to speak their language is even more crucial.”

Adnan hopes that between her medical knowledge and language skills, she’ll be able to help patients from a broad background and get people the help they need.

Gabriel Sandler

ASU Assistant Professor Gary Moore recognized nationally as exceptional mentor

February 13, 2018

The importance of doctoral advisers can hardly be overstated, but when you talk to ARCS Foundation Scholars about the guidance they have received, you understand the adviser’s vital role.

Three advisers from across the U.S., including Gary Moore, an assistant professor in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences, have recently been recognized by ARCS for their work in this realm. man's portrait Gary Moore from ASU's School of Molecular Sciences was recently recognized nationally as an exceptional mentor. Download Full Image

The nominations come from ARCS scholars who value the role of advisers as vital to their academic paths. The nominations reflect not only the passion for science of the three advisers, but also their success in communicating that enthusiasm to their students.

Moore has a passion for chemistry that is evident from the very first classes students take with him. He lectures on technical concepts in a logical and effective manner, and also addresses scientific topics in a context which brings students a level of cultural relevance to the subject matter that is rarely found in chemistry classes.

“I have been privileged to work with Professor Moore since he started his laboratory in the School of Molecular Sciences," ARCS Phoenix Scholar Anna Beiler said. 

"He stresses the importance of professional as well as scientific skills, preparing his students for successful future careers in any field,” Beiler said. “He is well connected in his field of study and encourages me to interact with the network of notable scientists that come to ASU. He has given me opportunities to make my own connections by attending national and international conferences in the field, and his already distinguished reputation allows me to make connections that will advance my future career.”

The ideal adviser has to be someone with not just knowledge and expertise, but also a passion for mentoring and a personal interest in the welfare of the students being overseen. This individual must be ready to share wisdom, knowledge, and professional experiences, as well as technical expertise. It cannot be emphasized too much that, for graduate students, mentoring and advice are critical movers of the entire graduate program. They have a direct impact on how well students perform in their projects and how efficiently they can earn their degrees.

Moore is also guest faculty at Berkeley Lab. He received his doctorate from ASU under Ana L. Moore in 2009 then spent two years as a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Energy Fellow at Yale University working with Gary W. Brudvig and Robert H. Crabtree before starting an independent research career at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Moore currently teaches a graduate level course at ASU on photochemical energy conversion and leads the research efforts of the Moore Lab.  He enjoys coffee, chess, the art of organic synthesis and staying up late at Gordon Conferences. 

Jenny Green

Clinical associate professor, School of Molecular Sciences