Honoring the Best

of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Sanzida Afrin

  • Sanzida Afrin


Outstanding Graduate Student

The Outstanding Graduate Student Award is given annually to graduate students who have distinguished records within their programs, shown leadership qualities on campus and worked for the improvement of our College.

The Nutrition Department is pleased to present Sanzida Afrin with the 2020 Outstanding Nutrition Graduate Student Award for her Academic and Research Excellence. Sanzida joined our program in the Fall of 2018 with some impressive credentials that included working for the World Health Organization in their immunization and vaccine development department. Sanzida’s academic excellence was clear in the classroom, where she was considered one of the top performing students. Sanzida could grasp difficult concepts and was interested in diving deep into understanding human metabolism and metabolic dysfunction. She would consistently ask thought-provoking questions and was excited to learn and understand new material. Not only was Sanzida an excellent student, but she was also an excellent graduate teaching assistant. She was one of several students who assisted Jolyn Wirshing with Introduction to Nutrition, which includes an annual enrollment of over 800 students. Sanzida was responsible for teaching and evaluating students in several lab sections each semester. Graduate training also reflects scholarly pursuits. Sanzida currently works with Associate Professor Yumei Feng, with the University’s School of Medicine, determining the molecular mechanisms in the brain that contribute to systemic changes in blood pressure. Feng was impressed with Sanzida’s research productivity, ability to learn new concepts and lab techniques, and understanding of the research questions. Sanzida’s work not only earned her a publication from Feng’s lab, but also contributed to her being accepted at multiple universities to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience. While Sanzida was accepted to both Tulane University and the University of Nevada Reno, she ultimately chose University of California, Irvine. There is no doubt that Sanzida will exceed their expectations and we look forward to following her progress in her academic and professional career. Congratulations to Sanzida Afrin for being named Outstanding Nutrition Graduate for 2020.

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