Meet the Grad, Anum Khan a Future Engineer Who Will Pursue Ways to Provide Safe Drinking Water Around the World

June 9, 2022

Anum Khan is an engineering student who wants to travel the world with ‘Engineers Without Borders’ to help provide safe drinking water for populations at risk.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I would call myself a global citizen. I came here on my own a few years ago and found NOVA because it was the biggest community college in the area. It was a reasonable choice for me because I had extreme financial limitations.

I love the diversity at NOVA as well. That was really one of the things that made me comfortable as there were international students from around the world.

What brought you to NOVA?

My older siblings had already attended the College before I came here. I heard about it through word of mouth. When I came here, I moved in with my sister for a brief period of time, and that was how I found out about NOVA. As I did my research – I saw that the NOVA was the most reasonable choice.

I was a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation semi-finalist, and I am thrilled to announce that I also received a S.E.A.L Award.

What are you studying or plan to study at NOVA?

I am getting my associates in engineering. I plan to specialize into civil and environmental engineering as I transfer to Virginia Tech. I plan to get my masters more specifically in environmental engineering down the road.

I plan on pursuing the PE license, i.e., the, the professional engineering license I plan on using these credentials to further myself in the industry and to volunteer for ‘Engineers without Borders’ to provide safe drinking water around the world. Most of the time, I consistently think about sustainable development. That is a very common problem; and not to repeat what is already being said, but it is important to build on sustainability as we progress and build infrastructure in the future.

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA; i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met:

I would say that – I really believe that each and every professor I met was a crucial part to my success. Each one of them helped me in every way possible. I didn’t meet a professor that wasn’t committed to my success. All of them were really nice.

I would mention Professor Amy Richardson. She is not only a great professor, she was also super supportive outside the classroom. She was my STEMHawk mentor. It is a program where you pair with a faculty member and get mentored. She informed me about various opportunities that I would have otherwise missed. She kept telling me about events, about universities or urbanization from other students or even to participate in an activity. She really helped me connect with a lot of people in this field, whether in civil engineering or engineering in general.

I would also mention Dr. Thomas Moreno. He was very supportive and not just in classroom. This was the main thing about professors here at NOVA, they wouldn’t just support me in classrooms but outside of the classroom as well. He even helped me gain an internship last semester.

Dr. Steven Stockman, my philosophy professor. He was the one that nominated me for the academic achievement award. It opened doors for me to achieve other scholarships and awards.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

I think one thing to mention that is very important to know is you need to plan. But don’t be overwhelmed. Don’t over plan. I realized that I was so worried about planning things so perfectly. I remember the first semester, and I had all the possibilities of classes and even talking to the same mentor about how everything is going to work out. I wanted the most perfect schedule. I remember her telling me that getting a schedule is not perfect and that I would work it out.

Having said that, don’t wait until the last day to register. Do plan, but know that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?

I plan on attending Virginia Tech or University of Virginia.

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