Outstanding Seniors in the College of Science: Ali Shaikh

April 28, 2023
Ali Shaikh

Ali Shaikh, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

This spring, departments in the University of Arizona's College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next in the senior spotlight series is Ali Shaikh from the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. 

Ali Shaikh
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

College of Science: Why did you choose your area of study?
Shaikh: I didn’t know what I really wanted to study coming into college. I’d always been interested in the sciences, and I wanted to pursue a major where I believed I could best contribute to society. I knew that Biology was a diverse science and I felt that it would be the optimal field of study to provide me with the direction, courses, and opportunities moving forward. Looking back, I can say that I wouldn’t have changed my decision, as my experiences have catalyzed my interest in cell-signaling research, something that I look forward to remaining involved in as part of my future career.

COS: Tell us about a class or research project you really enjoyed
Shaikh: My favorite class would have to be ECOL 329A, a class focused on microbial diversity. I was surprised to learn just how many different microorganisms exist, and how there are definitely many more to be discovered. The best part about this course was when our class met up and had a mini dinner (courtesy of Dr. Arnold) where each food item was created by microbes. It was amazing to see just how interconnected the microbial world is with ours.

COS: What is one specific memory from your time at UA that you'll cherish forever?
Shaikh: I met up with my friends at the Bash at the Rec after the university opened back up. For me at least, it was the first time that I went, and it was really cool to see so many other students and activities and clubs. Especially after having to push through the COVID-19 pandemic and online learning, it was fun to spend time hanging out and talking with my friends at on-campus events again. Even though college can be stressful and it might be easy to become caught up in your worries, that just makes it even more important to take a step back and enjoy the present.

COS: What is next for you after graduation?
Shaikh: I have applied to a few programs that I am waiting to hear back from. In the meantime, I look forward to relaxing for a little bit this summer by spending time with my family, practicing my own self-care, and volunteering around the community. The past four years weren’t always easy, but I’m grateful for the experiences that I have had and the friends and connections I made along the way.