Thank You

Fabiola Minerali

When Dr. Salwa Khan ’93 looked back on her years at UNC Greensboro, she remembered not only foundational coursework and faculty mentors, but also the support she received in a time of crisis. A native of Bangladesh, Khan came to UNCG from England in 1989 to study biology. During her course of study, Khan’s financial funding was completely cut off. The Department of Biology and the director of International Student Services (now International Programs) ensured she would complete her degree by helping her secure financial support.

Now director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Khan hoped to prevent other international students from suffering the same burdens and uncertainties. In 1998, she and her husband, Dr. Omar Khan, established the Khan International Students Scholarship to support international scholars who might face financial distress while studying at UNCG. The scholarship became fully endowed in 2016.

Fabiola Minerali, a native of Albania, greatly appreciates Dr. Khan’s foresight and generosity.

“Being an international student often means facing financial difficulties and setbacks,” says the sophomore interior architecture major. “Expenses are sometimes high, discouraging, and stressful. The Khan scholarship eases this burden and reassures me that my hard work is noticed by others.”

Minerali arrived at UNCG during the summer of 2017. Although nervous about living away from family and friends, she was excited to participate in a university system that encourages creativity and artistic expression.

“Albania’s lower-level education system is quite solid, but higher education institutions sometimes suppress creativity. I have always been inclined toward the arts, so I decided to pursue my education in the United States, where students develop more critical and creative thinking.”

UNCG was at the top of Minerali’s list.

“UNCG has some of the best art programs in North Carolina. More importantly, it offers not just interior design or architecture, but a program of study that combines both!”

Minerali has already seen the value of her education. The courses she has taken, the classmates she has studied with, and the faculty she has trained under have helped her refine her vision of her future.

“As designers, our main focus is not what we create but the people who engage with our creations,” Minerali explains. “Whether they’re commercial or residential, I want my designs to impact people. Life after graduation still seems far away, so my plans are unclear. But I found what I value as a designer, and I can build my career around that.”

It is a discovery made possible by an alumna who remembered her own struggle. Thanks to Dr. Salwa Khan, Minerali – and students like her – can prepare for success thousands of miles from home.

Story by Michelle Danner-Groves, Donor Relations


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P. Kevin Williamson

Associate Vice Chancellor