Student ambassador discovers his potential and unlimited possibilities at Wayne State

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Taimoor Khan understands the importance of using university resources. During his first year at Wayne State, he discovered his high school study habits were not going to help him get through college.  

“Pre-dental courses are challenging,” he said. “I got to a point where I was forced to seek additional resources. I tried supplemental instruction, and my grades changed drastically. I was able to learn and implement new, effective study strategies that I will use not only during my time as an undergraduate but also as a lifelong student. I now strive to share what I learned with others in an attempt to pay it forward.” 

Offered through the Academic Success Center, supplemental instruction is a free series of group study sessions led by undergraduates who have performed well in the course. Sessions are available for 1000 and 2000-level courses such as biology, chemistry and psychology and help strengthen students’ learning and study strategies through review of course materials.  

Khan at board leading instructional session
Khan helps students understand biology concepts

Khan now serves as a supplemental instruction leader for biology courses. 

“I feel like I can make an impact on students’ lives at an early point as a supplemental instruction leader,” he said. “I try to make sessions interactive and focus on helping students develop an effective strategy for studying, rather than telling them to study in a specific way.” 

Khan also took advantage of tutoring services available in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. He said he was a tutor before he became a supplemental instruction leader and applies lessons he learned as a tutor to his new role. 

Khan decided to major in kinesiology because he loves sports. Then, he began considering different careers. 

“I shadowed a physical therapist and three dentists to get a feel for different fields,” he said. “I developed an interest in dentistry and started volunteering and two free clinics — one medical and one dental — that provide care to uninsured individuals. It is nice to show those who may not be as fortunate that we are here to help.” 

Because Khan enjoys helping others, he applied to be a student ambassador in the College of Education. He volunteers at events, serves on panels and works to get other students to enroll at Wayne State. His goal is to make students aware of services and resources and encourage them to use them. 

“The transition from high school to college can be very difficult for some people,” he said. “As a student who commutes, it can be hard to use resources because I am not always here. It was challenging, but I took advantage of services the university makes available to students to help them succeed. I feel like I can connect with prospective students and contribute to their success by sharing my personal experiences and telling them my story.” 

Khan’s interest in entrepreneurship led him to participate in the university’s STEAM Challenge. His team’s project focused on addressing issues related to hunger and homelessness in Detroit. 

“There are great food programs, including Detroit Feedback Loop, Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest,” he said. “Our plan involved working with organizations like that to address a specific issue and help people get back on their feet.” 

Although his team did not win, Khan has ideas for future projects and appreciates the support and guidance he receives from faculty. 

“The faculty and staff are extremely helpful,” he said. “Professor Jimenez connected me with TechTown, and I met with Paul Riser. I have been doing research with Professor Pernice, who does amazing work with clubhouses. Professor Vasalo is great. My advisor Fawn is incredibly helpful. All these faculty members really care about me. I love the College of Education because it has helped me develop great relationships and get connected to resources.”  

Khan said he initially chose Wayne State because many of his friends had decided to come here, and his brother is an alumnus. Now, Khan is glad he chose Wayne State because he is able to pursue his interests in sports, service and entrepreneurship.  

“College is about finding out who you are,” he said. “I learned a lot about myself and who I am. My experiences as a student in the College of Education have been an important part of my growth and development.”  

by Tracy A. Walker