Wayne State University

Honors student blends liberal arts with legal aspirations

Honors student blends liberal arts with legal aspirations
Manal Nizam, while on a study abroad trip in Japan.

As a Wayne State student, Manal Nizam is eager to learn as much as possible. She is a junior in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College, double majoring in English and Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese. With financial support from scholarships and awards, Nizam has engaged in creative projects, research and travel abroad. Through these many activities, Nizam realized her true dream is to become a lawyer. She wants to use art and culture as tools to help promote social good.

Below, Nizam shares her experiences at Wayne State as an aspiring law student with a creative point of view.

Why did you decide to come to Wayne State?

I am from West Bloomfield. I chose Wayne State because I was accepted into the Honors College, and I wanted to be part of that community. Also, I love that our university is in Midtown, so I get to be part of something larger than just a college campus. I am a part of Detroit.

Why is scholarship support important to you?

I received the Presidential Scholarship from the Honors College, which made Wayne State an even more attractive choice for me, and I recently won a full-ride scholarship to study abroad in Japan.

Also, I have received three awards and one scholarship for my creative writing pursuits, as well as one service award and one achievement scholarship. Most of the awards were from the English department, including:

•    Loughead-Eldredge Endowed Scholarship in Creative Writing
•    Joseph J. and Mary E. Yelda Endowed Merit Scholarship for English
•    Phillip Lawson Hatch, Jr. Memorial Award
•    Judith Siegel Pearson Award

These awards are important to me because they encourage me to pursue creativity and come closer to my final goal of becoming a lawyer.

Can you describe a pivotal moment from your Wayne State education that has impacted your future plans?

I studied abroad this summer in Japan in a small, beautiful, lakeside castle town. The old-time charm of the town made studying Japanese culture an unforgettable experience. Over the seven weeks, I became even more focused and disciplined in my studies. I hope my enhanced work ethic will take me far in my legal career.   

What is your favorite class?

My favorite class was an environmental science class I took in Japan. It was just so different than any other class I have ever taken. The field trips included hiking through a forest in the mountains where we had a (safe) encounter in the wild with the most deadly animal in Japan, the suzumebachi, a giant Asian hornet.

Why is research important to you?

Whatever I am involved in, I give it my all. So when I was a pre-med student my freshman year, after much research, I published a chapter in a book on epidemiology, risk factors, treatment and prevention of breast cancer metastases. When I was in Japan, I also conducted research on environmental policy in developing countries.

Research is important to me because it is a process where I get to learn about myself. It’s not just academic learning. My breast cancer research made me realize that I had other stronger interests. Through these interests I realized that I want to be a lawyer.

(September 2015)

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