I am of Persian descent. My parents were born in Tehran, Iran. They got married during the onset of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran. The revolution created harsh conditions for the followers of the Baha'i Faith, an independent religion that teaches the oneness of humanity and the oneness of God. So, my parents were forced to move to another country, which was Dubai, to create a family.
In Dubai, my older brother, older sister, and I were born. All of us were enrolled in English international schools and had a basic understanding of the language growing up.
Life in Dubai was sub-optimal. Financial hardship was the reality. The 1990s were especially difficult for my father.
A very shocking and life-altering event befell us when I was 9 years old. I recall before my father's disappearance, he was ill. He had stayed home resting for many days and nights, which was unusual. But one day he awoke and decided to go to work, never to return.
When we found his whereabouts, he had been in a coma for a few weeks. The doctor explained he had been pulled over by police for driving poorly. As the cops approached his dark-gray Hyundai sedan, he opened his door, then collapsed to the ground, they reported. The doctors learned he had a stroke, which eventually led to his death.
My father's sudden death left my widowed mother with having to raise three children by herself. We had nothing in Dubai. If Iran's government wasn't intolerant of Baha'is, we would have gladly returned.
My mother could have continued working as a labor and delivery nurse at what used to be Iran's inclusive hospital before it was destroyed by the government. A hospital where Bahá'í, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals used to work together collectively caring for the needs of the ill and suffering.
Neither in our native land nor Dubai could we find peace, security, and freedom. We were in search of another place to call home.
As refugees of Turkey for roughly a year and a half, we patiently worked on obtaining visas to immigrate to another country. Through the aid of the International Catholic Migration Commission, we sought refuge in the United States of America in 2003.
We landed in California and united with our extended family that had been in the States for decades. Soon I began my educational journey following our arrival.
As my educational endeavors advanced, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy with a minor in religious studies at the University of California, Davis in 2017. When I learned that doctorate programs in philosophy were being cut and job prospects dismal throughout the States, I considered taking a different route.
One thing I knew about myself was that I had a passion for writing, creating videos, and taking photos, so I decided to make that my long-term career goal.
My philosophy background coupled with my passion for content creation made journalism seem the best career path for me.
I moved to Minnesota to earn a Master of Science in strategic media communications at St. Cloud State University and to take advantage of the campus' UTVS News and University Chronicle newspaper.
The experience at SCSU was tremendous. I was able to gain hands-on practice as a news anchor, reporter, and writer, and learn about theoretical concepts in journalism, advertising, public relations, and marketing.
My first job as a journalist was with the Litchfield Independent Review. I worked there for about a year. When the coronavirus pandemic loomed in early April, I decided to drive back to California to be with my family and help my mother.
These past few years have taught me the impact storytelling has on our lives as individuals and as a community. I know that the stories, whether it's through writing, videography, or photography, must be true to the facts to guide the community in the direction where we can advance together.
About five months after I moved to back to California, I was offered a position as a news writer and community editor at County News Review, Cambridge, Minnesota, and I worked there for almost a year. During that time, I knew I didn't want to stay in the journalism world for much longer, and I craved something more, something different.
After I applied to work at Riverland Community College, and accomplished a couple of interviews, I was overjoyed to learn that I did well, and was hired not too long after.
I am now working here and love my job. I feel my impact is greater and real than any other job or experience I've ever had professionally. Here I am constantly creating videos that are positive and influential.
I can use my talents, skills, personality, and more to enhance student life, and decision on so many levels. I especially love finding stories that prove Riverland Community College's impact on graduates who go on to land a job, sometimes before they graduate. On top of these success stories, I enjoy assisting and supporting Minnesota State's campaigns. I also enjoy taking photos, posting on all our social media platforms, and more.
I am confident that where I am in my life currently is where I am supposed to be.Phone: 507-402-3158
MARKETING: Plan, create, produce, edit videos/photos, and publish on various digital media for college use; and measure digital media communications.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS: Manage current and future social media channels YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snap Chat to communicate long and short-form content to potential students, current students, and the community at large, and maximize usage and engagement.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: Perform duties supporting the Communications and Marketing department, the college, and Minnesota State. Be a strong representative of the college and convey both college and Minnesota State communications and brand standards.
I am active in the Bahá'í Faith. I am engaged in a global process of learning how to build capacity to apply the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith concerned with world unity, justice, and peace, to reality and action. I have strong hope and optimism that a better world can be created when more people engage in a conversation that awaken a renewed vigor and energy with a common understanding that we can work together as one humanity. Such conversations can reshape our thoughts and actions as individuals, communities, and institutions, and begin to reflect attributes of love, compassion, fellow feeling, cooperation, reciprocity, and oneness.
Awarded Mass Communications Faculty Recognition Diversity Scholarship in recognition of professional promise and superior academic record, spring 2018.