About the Student Speakers

Noor Abdalla


Noor Abdalla enrolled at UM-Flint because she felt the campus and classroom environment would make it easier for her to get involved, and talk to professors. She found this and more at the university.

Abdalla, an Honors student, is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She will be attending dental school after graduation. 

“Through the inclusive and close-knit community that the university has to offer, I was able to comfortably make my way through undergrad and overcome the struggle of choosing a career path. I had many incredible advisors and professors help me through the process and aid me in making one of the biggest decisions of my life,” Abdalla said. “The university has been nothing but good to me, and I hope that in the future I will be able to repay the debt that I owe all the wonderful people I have met along the way.” 

Abdalla developed a passion for social justice after taking the First Year Experience course “Intergroup Dialogue.” 

“Every week we would talk about racial issues, religious issues, and other hot topics people don’t normally talk about,” Abdalla said. “I did not know how much I would love that class. It sparked something inside me.”

She became a peer facilitator for the class, and presented on Islamophobia. “Because of this passion, I came back semester after semester to be a peer facilitator and help teach others what I had learned.”

Abdalla grew up in Flint, and spent six years in the United Arab Emirates before returning to Michigan and enrolling at UM-Flint. She was heavily involved in volunteer work during her college career, including as a camp counselor and at a Flint Township soup kitchen. 

In the summer of 2016, she taught Syrian refugees in Lebanon while volunteering for a nongovernmental organization. 

“It helped me to see just how lucky I truly am, and how I constantly take things for granted,” Abdalla said. “Because of this realization, I made a promise to myself to use my education to help those who are less fortunate. This experience prepared me for a future in the dental field, where I hope to work alongside vulnerable groups, assisting in dental related service.”

During her UM-Flint career, Abdalla was heavily involved with research, both on campus and beyond. She conducted research at the University of Illinois in Chicago on the Zika virus as part of her Honors Program off-campus study. Abdalla conducted biology research at UM-Flint and explored a range of other topics, including child labor in India, the lead poisoning in Flint, and the evolution of modern day numerals.

“My academic achievements, research experience, participation in the Honors Program, and my work as a volunteer have prepared me for a life after graduation in dental school, and eventually in
the real world. Without the University of Michigan-Flint, all of the opportunities that I had to grow personally and intellectually would never have happened.”  -Noor Abdalla