As we prepare for Hiram College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 13, 2023, honoring the Class of 2023, we connected with several of our graduating seniors to share some memories and advice from their time on the Hill.

Rafah Hussian has always wanted to be a dentist. After learning about Hiram’s 3+4 Professional Scholars Program Hiram has with Case Western Reserve University’s (CWRU) School of Dental Medicine, Hussain was drawn to the College as CWRU has been her dream dental school since she was in high school. She is majoring in biology from the School of Science & Technology and has served as the vice president of communication for Student Senate.

What did you want to achieve by attending college?

“I think for me, it was the experiences. You can’t be a dentist without going to college, obviously, but getting those hands-on experiences with lab work and working with other people that have similar goals intrigued me into coming to Hiram.”

Do you recall a Hiram class or professor that had an impact on you as a student?

“I feel, in a way, all of my classed have had an impact on my life and decision-making in some way. The part of Hiram that I love most is that all of my professors emphasized the importance of working with other students. Everything is really collaborative, and you aren’t really doing things on your own. I feel this is very important, especially in healthcare. You are not going to be the only dentist or doctor working; you are going to have nurses, dental assistants and technicians at your side.”

Who were some of your favorite professors?

“My research advisor, Dr. Brad Goodner. He has just been such a big part of my college career, giving me advice for my career, or research and guiding me through my undergraduate journey. I am so grateful that he was there to support me and my peers and get me to where I am now. There have been some many instances and interactions, but the overall experience of doing research with him and learning from his expertise and his professional background.”

Do you feel like you achieved a goal while you were a student?

“I had a lot of goals coming into college. Obviously, the academic end, I wanted to learn more about science, and I wanted to become a better professional and I think I was able to achieve that. On top of that, I got the chance to learn something that I wasn’t expecting to learn. I never really realized how much working with other people goes into healthcare and goes into my education”

What did you learn about yourself during your time at Hiram?

“Don’t be shy to ask questions. Make sure you feel okay to ask for help. Hiram and my professors have always been here to support me. I think that I had to take time to grow into that and realize that these people are here to help me and help me become a better professional so that I can excel in my career.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I am going to be starting Dental school at Case Western Reserve University in July.”

By Elyse Pitkin