The culture shock hit Marwa Zafarullah right away. The native of Pakistan landed in the United States for the first time just four years ago, knowing little English and not having any family or friends to lean on for support.
So, this graduate student in genetics made her own connections, got the support she needed, and is now giving back by mentoring her fellow international students and young women in science.
She remains a key mentor for UC Davis’ community of international students, while also working to empower young students in her native country. She’s held summer sessions in Pakistan that highlighted the importance of women in science and higher education. “I’m still in contact with many of them and it was wonderful to get their feedback,” Zafarullah said. “They want to get educated but don’t know what to do. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”