Congratulations Asmaa Mahoui, one of our two 2021 Herman B Wells Distinguished Senior Award recipients. Herman B Wells was a leader of uncommon vision and generosity. As the architect of IU’s rise to greatness, his legacy continues to permeate every corner of the university.
Created in 1961 by the Indiana Memorial Union Board of Directors, the esteemed Herman B Wells Distinguished Senior Award honors outstanding seniors that have excelled academically and are established leaders within the IU community.
Asmaa’s Academic Accomplishments
A Herman B Wells Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa Initiate, Asmaa Mahoui will graduate from the College of Arts of Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Her multifaceted approach to academia is reflected in her diverse research experiences in a range of molecular biology, cellular biology, and biochemistry-based laboratories with accompanying publication recognition. Asmaa’s recent research internship in Dr. Hongxia Ren’s lab at the IU School of Medicine allowed her to investigate the role of a specific receptor in energy homeostasis and metabolism as a potential therapeutic strategy for metabolic obesity. Her research efforts fostered her interest in the intersectionality between basic science and medicine and was recognized by the annual Stark Neuroscience Symposium Undergraduate award.
Along with her academic engagements at home, Asmaa had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford. Through the Biochemistry Pre-Medical Program, she was able to gain an in-depth understanding in the fundamentals of biology and biochemistry through the rigorous tutorial program, an educational approach that only Cambridge and Oxford employ. Her experience abroad inspired her International Studies thesis which focuses on the role of international healthcare systems in implicit physician racial bias in the United States and the United Kingdom. Asmaa’s background in both the life sciences and the social sciences has cultivated her academic passion for engaging scientific discovery in the pursuit of improving the health outcomes for society’s most vulnerable populations.
Asmaa’s Student Involvement
On campus, Asmaa’s has served as a curator for the last four years with TEDxIndianaUniversity, a student organization that holds an annual TEDx conference to bring together innovative thinkers to share ideas and spark conversations. As a member of the curation board, she personally worked with speakers such as NASA scientist, Dr. Giada Arney, to bring world-class learning experiences right to the IU community. She has also served as an editor on the social sciences board of the IU Journal of Undergraduate Research, a student-led publication that offers a united forum for the publication of undergraduate research. In addition, Asmaa’s involvement in Advocates for Science @ IU has positioned her to advocate and promote the accurate representation of science in policy and the media. She has also served as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for both organic and inorganic chemistry courses and has been an active member of the Epsilon of the Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry Fraternity. During her time at IU, Asmaa was also involved in the Wells Activism and Volunteer Effort as a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington. Her student involvement has also extended abroad through her involvement and volunteer efforts with Jacari Oxford and St. Anne’s Black and Minority Ethnic Students group.
Asmaa’s Post-Graduation Plans
Asmaa is currently deciding on the next step in her academic and professional journey. She has been accepted into graduate school programs at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge as well as a professional role at a biotechnology company. As an aspiring physician-scientist, she hopes to pursue medical school after gaining additional experience after college.
While reflecting on who has made an impact in her time at IU, Asmaa said:
My college experience would not be the same without the Wells Scholars Program, so to Christoph and Elspeth: thank you for supporting and guiding me throughout the ups-and-downs and pushing me to always strive for a higher standard. To my sisters Iman & Ilhaam, your friendship and unconditional love bring me light and joy in an otherwise bleak world. To become half the women you two are would be my life’s greatest accomplishment. And finally to my parents, there is no way to describe my love and appreciation. Your sacrifices and examples will forever inspire and drive me to think of others and strive for excellence in everything I do.