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Student Spotlight: Kimia Nikseresht

Get to know Iris intern, Kimia Nikseresht!

Year: 3rd
Major: Sociology and Spanish
Hometown: Shiraz, Iran

What do you miss most about your hometown when you're at UVA?
I miss my family! I have 12 aunts and uncles, over 40 first cousins, and many more extended members. And the best part is that most of us lived on the same block in Shiraz, so you could say we had our own family community! And I miss freshly baked bread! In general, I feel like food tastes different in Iran - fruits are a little juicier, baked goods are a little more fresh, and aromas are a little more overpowering.

Why are you passionate about the Women's Center?
I'm passionate about the Women's Center because I know first hand that it plays a powerful role in changing our experience as students for the better. The resources they extend to students along with the truly compassionate staff makes the Women's Center one of the most supportive, peaceful spaces on grounds. I am personally beyond grateful for this home away from home, and for all the ways that the women's center has helped me stay focused, stay positive, and stay on track to achieving my goals and ambitions.

What is your favorite UVA tradition?
My favorite UVa tradition is definitely lighting of the lawn! It always comes at the perfect time - right in the middle of the most stressful week of the semester! It is one final opportunity to see familiar faces, all smiling and enjoying the moment! Even though we are all freaking out on the inside, lighting of the lawn is a celebration of how far we've come and a reminder that we are all in this thing together!

What's a fun fact you'd like people to know about you?
I have never eaten a salad before in my life! Also, my name means "alchemy" in Persian.

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
This one's easy - I would want to have coffee with my mom, my grandma, and my great-grandmother at the same time. My mom has played such an important role in making me into the woman that I am today. Her strength, her patience, and her beauty are all characteristics that I strive to live up to.Thus, I am super curious to hear from these women, who have all in one way or another made me into who I am, how their experiences differed or were similar. Growing up in 4 different generations but within the same family, I think it would be fascinating to hear one another's stories from each person's own perspective!

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