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Diversity Council Spotlight:
Haleh Moghaddasi

Tell us about yourself.

Howdy! My name is Haleh Moghaddasi. I am a Ph.D. student in Architecture. I am also a lead- Diversity Advisor Leader (DPAL) and a graduate research assistant to the diversity council at the college of architecture.


What is your favorite part about being an Aggie/working for Texas A&M?

As an international student, I love being part of the Aggie family and its network. The community makes me feel included, safe, and loved. It supports my creative ideas and expands it to bring comfort for Aggies. At Texas A&M, I have boosted my skills in leadership and diversity. I hope to apply these toward making other Aggies feel the same.


Why did you choose to become involved in the Diversity Council?

As an international student, I know what it is like to be at a new school in a new country. It is exciting but can also be complicated and challenging. The Diversity Council is a very welcoming and safe place for all the students to go and talk about their concerns. It is surrounded by very caring members, led by a wonderful person, Dr. Cecilia Giusti, who always backs students and makes sure to address all their concerns as much as possible. I love the fact that all ideas and suggestions are welcomed, heard, and supported. This involvement provided me a chance to contribute to providing a better environment at our campus and society.


What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the Diversity Council?

I learned that I want to be a resource for international students. I learned how satisfying it is to be trusted by other students and to make them feel happy and cared for. I also learned how much I care for my Aggie family. I do my best to support every group of this wonderful community.


How has the Diversity Council influenced your Aggie experience?

During my Aggie experience, I found that how vital the role of the Diversity Council is on the students’ life in college, especially international students. We went through many complicated situations where students from some countries become subject to feeling unwelcome and unsafe. That was when the Diversity Council proved us, no matter what a country’s situation is, we will always be counted and treated as a family. Diversity Council has always had our back, and that makes a significant difference in campus and society.


What is your job/involvement outside of the Diversity Council?

I am a Ph.D. student in Architecture, researching on designing for Net Zero residential communities. The end goal of my research is to promote a healthier (pollution-free) environment in response to the UN Sustainable Goal number 11.

Also, I have worked three summers as a seasonal project/design manager for City Hall at the City of Rochester (COR), NY (Summer, 2018-19) and as an Urban Fellow in the Architecture department that is part of the Department of Environmental Services for the COR (Summer, 2017). I assisted in various building projects, including historic preservation, building survey, construction, restoration, building application, conceptual design, neighborhood development, and commercial façade improvement. A project that was engaging for me was to be as the primary designer of the La Marketa project by the COR. It involved designing and developing mixed-use buildings in a lower income area that will meet the residents’ needs for local business development, transportation, security, daily needs, aesthetics, and improved living conditions. The conceptual design project was taken to the Mayor and has already met all the objectives and requirements of the Request for Proposals (RFP) by the City’s Department of Environmental Services. The construction began in the summer of 2019.


Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a Diversity Council member?

Leadership, in my eyes, is about connection – to be a good leader, one needs to listen and feel the concerns of others. It needs to be a wanted desire. My primary role at the diversity council is the lead-Diversity Advisor Leader (DPAL). DPALs are a group of trained students, some international and some Americans, responsible for welcoming and communicating with incoming international graduate students. But I also am an active member of the Diversity Council who oversaw events including the re-creation of historic COA photo, awards application (ACE Award and Glasscock COVID-19 Micro-Grants), cultural events, and COA pioneer women event.


What are your plans for the future?

In the future, I would like to work at an organization where I can have a voice and make a difference. The United Nations would be amazing or a government organization like the U.S. Department of Energy. I would like to contribute new ideas to residential communities to promote a healthier and better environment for the residents and society. Eventually, I would also like to become a professor, where I can support my students, help them explore their creative ideas, get their ideas to be heard and function, and become the future leaders.