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Omar Rizvi
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

​Omar Rizvi

Graduation year: 2016

Majors: Religion, pre-medicine

Activities: Augustana Debate Union, Augustana Observer student newspaper, Model United Nations, Muslim Student Association

Internship: UnityPoint Health Trinity Hospital/Metro Lab

Post-grad plans: Still working on it! I will probably be headed to the University of Iowa for a master’s in epidemiology.

Why Augustana?

When I first visited, it was just a ridiculously beautiful campus…that and it was close to home.

Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?

I am where I thought I would be, but I never thought I’d get here as I did.

Who helped you?

My advisors! Dr. Zargar and Dr. Kennedy both gave me great advice and guidance from scheduling classing to writing personal statements. I would not be here without them. Additionally, the entirety of the religion department was absolutely awesome with working with my schedule and making sure everything worked out for me to double major.

A peak experience?

Being a part of the Augustana Debate Union was absolutely fantastic. All the car rides, plane trips and tournaments we went to were just so much fun. Our coach, Max, was also amazing so that made it all the more enjoyable.

What did you learn about yourself that has surprised you?

I learned just how much there is to actually learn out there. It sounds super cheesy and cliché (and it is), but I think I was definitely very narrow-minded when I first came to Augustana in terms of what I wanted to learn about or what would interest me.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to fund an internship with (UnityPoint Health) Trinity Hospital working with the Metropolitan Medical Lab.

What will you miss the most?

I will probably most miss sitting on the third floor of Tredway and procrastinating on papers.

Advice for the Class of 2020?

Do something. Seriously, anything different or weird that you might be even remotely interested in, go to it and do it. That’s how I got into Model UN and debate, both things that I enjoyed immensely. I guess the advice is also cliché, but it's true—don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Don’t worry what others think.

“Omar has a renaissance-like passion for both the natural sciences and the humanities. It has been exciting to follow him on his intellectual journey, especially when these two facets of his learning come together. His excellent Senior Inquiry project was an example of his dual interests as scientist and ethicist. In that study, Omar explored the issue of pregnant women who choose to fast during the month of Ramadan. The project showcases Omar’s reflective approach to questions about human existence, ethics and theology, as well as his perceptive readings of challenging texts. ”

— Dr. Cyrus Zargar, associate professor, religion