On December 1, 2020, Tuesday Tea featured Dr. Farideh Doost Mohammadi, a professor here in Christopher Newport University’s department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. Dr. Mohammadi is from Tehran, the capital of Iran. She got her BS in electrical Engineering at the Iran University of Science and Technology, her MS in Electrical Engineering at the Amirkabir University of Technology, and she came to the United States to get her Ph D in Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University.
Dr. Mohammadi reminisced about the differences between life in Tehran and here in the United States. Once a year in Iran, there was an entrance exam (students choose between engineering, medicine, or law) held for all students who wanted to attend university. All students who took the entrance exam were ranked, and this determined what universities they would be able to attend. Dr. Mohammadi chose to pursue engineering, because there were more options within the field and many of her family members are in electrical engineering.
The difference between Iran and the United States extends beyond education. Dr. Mohammadi shared that she was shocked by the change of pace from Tehran where “everyone is running,” to the United States where things are calmer. She also spoke fondly of holidays she celebrated with family in Tehran like the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. She spoke of how mothers in Iran have a great skill for cooking, and when she was a kid her family always ate food at home rather than going out. Iran is famous for hospitality, and she shared that people will welcome you into their homes.
Dr. Mohammadi worked as a teaching assistant during her bachelors and masters program and found that she enjoyed teaching and wanted to stay in academia. However, becoming a university professor in Iran is much more difficult for women, so she came to the United States. Dr. Mohammadi likes Christopher Newport University for the connection between the university and industry and the focus on experimental and practical learning. Dr. Mohammadi’s studies focus on power system controls and renewable power.
Thank you to Dr. Mohammadi for sharing about her life and experiences.