Nadine Jawad, a junior at the University of Michigan, exemplifies a purposeful involvement toward creating change, in both her academic and co-curricular endeavors. She is passionate about addressing inequities that systematically marginalize women of disadvantaged backgrounds. Nadine is studying Public Policy with a concentration in women's health policy, and has served student government as representative, senior policy adviser, and currently a candidate for vice president of the student body. She is involved in campus and community initiatives related to affordable housing, combating Islamophobia, and addressing barriers to academic success that students from disadvantaged backgrounds often face. Nadine is the founder of a nonprofit called Books for a Benefit, and works as a chemistry tutor with first-generation students. Nadine serves on the advisory board of the University of Michigan's Ginsberg Center; she and her family partnered with them this year to initiate the Jawad Family Scholarship, which is awarded to a first-generation student who exemplifies leadership in social change work. Finally, Nadine works as a research assistant studying HPV and Head and Neck Cancer. She plans to pursue an M.D./M.P.H., and aspires to work in reproductive health advocacy for marginalized women.
My leadership and interests have inevitably been influenced by the issues that are integral to my upbringing. As a first generation college student, a Muslim, and the daughter of an immigrant, my everyday experiences have shown me how aspects of society can cause inequities in the lives of individuals. One of the most defining experiences of my upbringing was when my mom had a stillbirth. The health complications were rooted in the systemic disenfranchisement women of color face as a consequence of unjust social norms and policies. This understanding has been a catalyst in my pursuit to address inequities in society through work in social justice. As one of the few Muslim students in University of Michigan's Central Student Government, I have leveraged my connections to strengthen protections for marginalized communities on campus. Furthermore, through the nonprofit I co-founded, Books for a Benefit, I have begun to address fundamental barriers that deter students from disadvantaged backgrounds from pursuing higher education. On campus, I am active in numerous other social justice efforts including the Islamophobia Working Group and the Ginsberg Center's Student Advisory Board. I am also passionate about my lab work that focuses on HPV and Head and Neck cancer.