Shukri Ideis (class of 2018) and Kavya Vaitla (class of 2016)
Shukri Ideis and Kavya Vaitla are UIC alumni who minored in Global Asian Studies and Asian American Studies, respectively.
Shukri is a Palestinian American Muslim and graduated from UIC in 2018 with minors in GLAS and Biological Sciences and a B.A. in History with a concentration in race relations in the United States. Shukri is currently a third-year pharmacy student at the UIC College of Pharmacy, the President-Elect of Pharmacy Student Council, a Feedback and Development Chair for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association’s (SNPhA) Legislative / Membership / Immigration (LMBI) National Subcommittee, and a Legislative chair for UIC’s SNPhA chapter. He hopes to use his activism and skills to increase cultural sensitivity, while also creating solidarity among his friends and colleagues.
Kavya received her BA in Applied Psychology in 2016 and graduated from the UIC School of Pharmacy in 2020. Kavya plans to work in a hospital pharmacy that caters to patients with mental health disorders. She has also been involved in policy and pharmacy advocacy all four years of pharmacy school, and intend to continue this to support her patients and community through increased access to healthcare, and expanding pharmacists’ capabilities.
Kavya: “I was involved in the transition from Asian American Studies (ASAM) and Asian Studies (ASST) into Global Asian Studies (GLAS), so seeing the growth of the program is near and dear to my heart. Like many others, I’m sure, I was first worried that the original sociopolitical goals of ASAM would be overshadowed in the merger, but after looking into what globalizing area (ASST) and ethnic (ASAM) studies would do, I became eager to see the depth of support and understanding GLAS could provide to students. These end goals of GLAS, the global and intersectional nature of Asian identity, culture, and belonging, wouldn’t be realized within a few years. However, I hope that UIC would continue to support and value this dynamic and innovative change. I hope to stay within the Chicagoland area, and in doing so I hope to see what heights GLAS can reach, and give back in whatever ways I can.”
Shukri: “GLAS has provided me with the ability to see a bigger picture of the impact and hardships that are felt by Asians and Asian American minorities. I would like to use this point of view to influence the Pharmacy world with political activism and strive for policies that will benefit the patient populations as a whole.”