Photo courtesy of Emaan Mahmood
Photo courtesy of Emaan Mahmood

Deacon Profile: Emaan Mahmood

During her time at Wake Forest, Emaan Mahmood has become an integral member of the campus community.

Her dedication to different organizations has contributed to her own experience while simultaneiously enriching the larger community. Mahmood’s commitments on campus have shaped her unique perspectives on the university experience and the importance of getting involved.

What organizations are you involved with on campus?

I am on Wake N’ Shake executive board as the fundraising chair. As the daughter of an oncologist, discussions regarding the fight against cancer have been embedded in my life for as long as I can remember. The money raised during Wake N’ Shake goes to the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund which strives to help researchers find new and innovative treatments. I felt as if this event resonated with me as it is a time to reflect with the Wake Forest community while also making a lasting impact.

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I am a current member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Organization. Community service is something that I was heavily involved in back home in Kentucky. I wanted to join this service organization as I felt it would be a great way to learn about Winston-Salem while also giving back to this community that I now call home.

I am on the IPLACe Student Board. IPLACe funds interdisciplinary performance-based creative projects, and the board discusses and generates new projects while also assisting with current projects. As my interests range from medicine to the humanities, I wanted to be able to help with projects that connect various subjects while also giving students an opportunity to learn how subjects can be interrelated.

I am the vice-president of the Muslim Students Association. I wanted to be able to discuss my faith with other people my age and learn from my peers. I also wanted to be able to celebrate holidays with my Wake Forest family.

I am a student researcher at the Lachgar Research Group. I was drawn to this group as I am interested in environmental initiatives as well as medicine. The research I am involved in strives to find a sustainable way to remove the toxins from medical waste.

I am a freshman RA in South Hall. I was drawn to this job because I wanted to be able to give my residents resources in order to promote involvement on campus. Being an RA, I can learn about what my residents are passionate about and then connect them with the organizations that they may have not learned about otherwise. I can also relay information regarding various events on campus that may spark their interest. 

I am a member of the Deacon Dhamaal: Indian Fusion Dance Team. I wanted to learn how to dance from student choreographers, who are remarkably talented, while also having a great time with friends.

What is your major? Have you found that your extracurriculars directly tie into your major and career path?

I am a religious studies major with minors in interdisciplinary humanities as well as Middle East and South Asian Studies. My extracurriculars cover a pretty wide range. Some are related to my interests in a career in medicine or my major while others are simply things that I am interested or passionate about. I think it is important to get involved in organizations that make you feel happy. That happiness may not necessarily come from an organization that correlates exactly to what you are studying. College is the perfect time to try something new.

How has your involvement in so many extracurriculars shaped your experience as a student on campus?

Extracurriculars have truly helped me succeed in the classroom. They are a way for me to de-stress after a long day of classes. Leadership positions have helped me gain confidence and learn how to speak up in a group setting. Whether it be through group presentations or classroom discussions, I have become an active participant which was not the case coming into Wake Forest as a quiet freshman two years ago. Most of all, the friends I have gained from each of these organizations truly make Wake Forest worthwhile.

Why do you think it is important that students explore activities beyond the classroom while in undergraduate?

There is only so much one can learn in a classroom. A lot of personal growth and understanding is achieved through extracurriculars. I would not be on my current career path if it wasn’t for the organizations I am involved in and the people I met along the way.

What is your favorite memory as a student on campus?

My favorite memory would have to be when I got to introduce some of the champions at Wake N’ Shake last year and hear their stories. Champions come and share their story whether it be regarding their own personal battle with cancer or an experience they had with a loved one. Each champion shares a part of themselves on that stage and it is an unforgettable experience every year. Hearing the stories of the champions truly puts one’s personal complaints into perspective. It is a time to celebrate life and remember those we have lost, and each speaker has truly had a lasting impact on me.

What do you think is Wake Forest’s biggest strength? What could be improved?

Wake Forest’s emphasis on the liberal arts is a massive strength. It helps students leave undergrad with a holistic background that they may not have received otherwise. This type of education also helps students find interests that may alter their major or career path in a way that they were not expecting. This was most definitely the case for me. I came in as a chemistry major and then became a religious studies major after taking an introductory class that caused me to think in a new light.

With so many organizations, it is so important that students understand that it is never too late to get involved. Students need to be more aware of WakeSync, so it can be properly utilized, because it is an extremely useful resource.

What advice would you give to students looking to get more involved?

Think about what interests you and then go for it. Speak to your RA or visit WakeSync to learn about over 150 chartered organizations. This is the time to discover your passions and have new experiences so take a chance.

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