Spring 2022 grad: Zari Dehdashti among first students to embrace new global health major

Photo courtesy of Zari Dehdashti.

Zari Dehdashti, who grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota, will be graduating in spring 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in global health, plus certificates in computer sciences and gender and women’s studies. Dehdashti was among the first UW students to embrace the new global health major, launched by CALS in 2020. In this Q&A, she talks about finding the major that was right for her and her plans on studying immunotherapy in the future.

Q: Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Eagan Minnesota, a suburb of Saint Paul.

Q: How did you decide on your program? Why did you choose it?
I came into college thinking I would study neurobiology. I never felt incredibly connected to it, and when I heard that there would be a global health major coming out, I immediately knew that’s what I would do.

Q: What were the most meaningful college experiences you had?
Meeting my best friends was the most valuable thing college has given me. I know these bonds will last a lifetime, and I’m so grateful to have found an amazing support system here at UW.

Q: When you think about your time here as student, what are you proud of?
I’m proud of how much I’ve grown here. College throws you into the deep end, but you learn how to swim on your own. I feel like now I’m more capable and independent, and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come!

Q: What are your future academic / career plans?
After graduation, I’ll be starting a research project at the University of Chicago on ovarian cancer immunotherapy in a great lab. After that, I’m hoping to apply to doctorate programs in immunology,

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with CALS students?
Don’t settle. If you’re in a major and don’t love it, look around! You’re at a university with endless possibilities, so try new things until you find something you can’t go without. You’re here for way too little time to get stuck.