Major: Political Science, pursuing pre-med
Hometown: Harrisonburg, Va.
"I ultimately want to apply my knowledge in a way that lifts people above the financial burdens placed on their families as the Belk Scholarship has done for my family and me."
Belk Scholar Mustafa Abid has had a series of transformative experiences since coming to Davidson and he hopes to use what he has learned to transform the lives of others.
"I ultimately want to apply my knowledge in a way that lifts people above the financial burdens placed on their families as the Belk Scholarship has done for my family and me," he said.
His decision to become a doctor and pursue the pre-medicine track at Davidson served as the first steps in achieving his goal. After taking a course on international politics with Professor of Political Science Louis Ortmayer, he was convinced to complement his pre-medicine studies with a major in political science.
"He had an exceptional experience bank and covered different conflicts that I've always been interested in and the different theories on why they occurred," he said.
Abid spent the fall semester of his junior year on the Davidson in India program, which focused on the significance of the Indian Ocean and its political and economic influences. Having never travelled to India, Abid saw the program as the perfect opportunity to interact with a new culture and environment.
"I had never experienced the plurality of religions that you find in India anywhere else," he said. "We were also able to travel to Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates to study conflict resolution, civil war, and economic development."
This summer he will expand his abroad repertoire with a seven-week trip to Jordan—an opportunity afforded him by the Belk summer stipend. He will study Arabic for the first four weeks and then perform three weeks of research on the impact of the Syrian refugee influx on Iraqi refugees receiving healthcare.
"I'd like to make an impact in the limited time I'm there through volunteering and hopefully providing research that can actually help," he said.
The research project combines Abid's interests in political science, the Middle East, and medicine. "I'd love to continue traveling and helping patients here, abroad, or wherever affordable care is needed," he said.
Since graduating from Davidson, Abid has received a Fulbright research grant to extend the research he began last summer in Jordan. He'll use patient exit interviews to better understand how patients select NGO clinics and how capacity building interventions can steamline information and patient referrals.
Following his Fulbright year, Abid will attend Wake Forest University School of Medicine.