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RCC Graduating Student Spotlight: Mahira Kauser

portrait of Mahira Kauser

Mahira Kauser has struck a pleasing balance in her life as a student at Rockland Community College.

Academically, she is an Honors math and science student who is studying to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. Outside the classroom, Krauser has been Student Government Association president and Student Activities Board chair.

Her philosophy at RCC is simple: “Focus on academics because they are the most important, but make time for extracurriculars because that's where you learn about yourself.”

Now on the threshold of graduation from RCC, Kauser paused to reflect on her fulfilling experience at the College. An anatomy & physiology course taken in her first year, taught by instructor Swapna Jacobs, helped influence her decision to pursue a career in healthcare. The initial impetus for Kauser's vocational interest came in 2015.

“I chose to become a neonatal nurse practitioner because I adore infants, and when my baby sister was born in 2015, she was put in special care because the doctor had seen signs of jaundice,” she said. “I became close to her nurse practitioner, and decided that it was going to be my career.”

RCC has not only enriched Kauser's life academically but also allowed her to develop communications skills that are vital to the healthcare profession – or any profession, for that matter. Jacobs, in particular, has been helpful in developing Kauser's skills as a student.

During her first semester at RCC, Kauser resolved to take an active role in student activities. She learned how to plan events, and developed a guide for helping to plan and carry out events both large and small. She had a hand in organizing events such as Silent Disco, Hawk Fridays, giveaways to students who wore RCC gear and apparel, and ice cream socials to elicit students' ideas and concerns.

A past speaker at the Outstanding Student Service Awards ceremony, Kauser emceed the event this year. Students are nominated by faculty and staff for displaying dedication and service to the campus community. As host of the ceremony, Kauser went a step further by including students from other departments – Honors, Athletics and Performing Arts. Recognition was also extended to clubs that have shown exceptional dedication in categories such as diversity and community service.

Kauser is the second member of her family to attend RCC. Her stepfather, Habib Shaikh, graduated from the college about 25 years ago, received further education at BOCES, and serves as a stationary engineer at Veiola, a French pharmaceutical company located at the former Wyeth and Pfizer campus in Pearl River, N.Y.

Kauser works as a pharmacy technician at CVS and Walmart. She will be transferring to Dominican College in the fall to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After obtaining her BSN, she would like to further her nursing education at SUNY Purchase and Pace University.

“I'm really grateful that I went to RCC,” she said. “It changed the way I look at life, and I learned a great deal.”