But she stayed at Winona State University because she realized it was exactly where she wanted to be.
Abbas struggled with college initially, trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. But after switching majors, she found the path she was meant to be on.
“I think college is a really unique experience where for a few short years your greatest responsibility is to simply learn, and I really urge other students to make the best of this,” said Abbas. “Use your time in college to not just restrict your learning to inside the classroom.”
During her time at WSU, Abbas held the coordinator position of the Knowledge, Empowerment, Advocacy and Pluralism (KEAP) Council and was the president of Black Students United during her senior year. She also was the treasurer for the Muslim Student Association, and a member of the Women of Color Association and the Pre-Law Association.
“WSU has helped me achieve my goals as it has served as a really incredible environment for me to develop as an individual,” Abbas said. “It was at WSU that my passion for social justice was sparked, and I was able to engage in many rewarding projects and collaborate with others in meaningful ways.”
Abbas, of Owatonna, Minn., will graduate this spring with bachelor’s degrees in Pre-Law and English, and a minor in Philosophy. After graduation she will serve in the Peace Corps in Morocco for 27 months as a Youth Asset Builder. She then hopes to attend law school with an emphasis in human rights law.
Abbas is proud to graduate from Winona State and plans to continue living the university’s mission.
“I think this university really lives up to its ideals,” said Abbas. “WSU’s motto ‘a community of learners improving our world’ is more than just a catchy tagline. There is absolute truth behind it as I have personally seen it in action.”
WSU Spring Commencement Ceremonies will be at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, May 5, in McCown Gymnasium. The 9 a.m. ceremony will feature the Colleges of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. The 12:30 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Business and the College of Science and Engineering. The 4 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. For more information visit http://www.winona.edu/graduation/commencement.asp or contact University Communications at 507-457-5024.