Most students who plan to go to medical school graduate with a degree in biology, chemistry or physics. Wayne State University alumna Alia Ahmed took a different path.

Ahmed graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in romance languages and a concentration in Spanish. She headed to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2014 to attend the University of Michigan Medical School and is excited to utilize her Spanish degree in a different way.

“With a rise in the Spanish population in the United States, especially in Michigan, there are many Spanish-speaking patients who may feel disconnected to their doctors,” says Ahmed. “I wanted to be able to help bridge that disconnect between Latino patients and their physicians."

Professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) go above and beyond to provide students with the guidance they need to receive an excellent education. For Ahmed, one person she credits for helping shape her future is Professor Hernan Garcia.

“Professor Garcia introduced me to a Latino clinic in Pontiac. When I started volunteering there, he really helped mentor me through that process,” says Ahmed.

Ahmed feels there are many opportunities available at WSU that prospective students may not be able to experience elsewhere.

“I was involved in so many clubs, and even moved into leadership positions because of Wayne State’s close-knit community,” says Ahmed. “It provides everyone with an equal opportunity to succeed and is not as cutthroat as other universities.”

Ahmed, who participated in Wayne State’s honors program, was impressed with how the university was truly immersed in Detroit. “One of my honors courses focused on exploring different parts of the city. It opened my eyes to how much it has evolved within the past four years.”

Ahmed will never forget the people she met and the excellent education she received while taking part in the revitalization of the city —an experience she doesn’t think she could have had at any other university.

“Living and going to school in the city really opened my eyes to what is happening in Detroit and how much it has improved,” says Ahmed. “That is something I would not have been able to see if I would have gone somewhere else.”

Of all the lessons Ahmed has learned from her education at Wayne, one aspect stands out the most: “If you work hard, then your efforts are going to be rewarded.”

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