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Ahura Scholarship Recipients for school year 2009-2010

Ahura Scholars: $3000

Ahura Strivers: $1000


Elham KeshavarzianElham Keshavarzian was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Amirkabir Institute of Technology in 2005 and 2007 consecutively.  She currently studies as a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California.

Elham believes that one must keep purity inside and outside, and with truthfulness in all walks of life and helping others extraordinary outcomes could be achieved.

Elham was ranked No.1 among her peers in the Department of Computer Science during her undergraduate and master studies at the university in years 2005 and 2007. She was also elected as the best teaching assistant by an anonymous popular vote of the student body in the department of Computer Science.

Beside academia, Elham was a key player in Zoroastrian Students Organization (ZSO) organizing and overseeing several activities such as camping trips, sports Olympics, and major events such as Yalda, Nowruz, and Mehregan. She has volunteered substantial amount of her free time providing free classes for Zoroastrian students in computer programming and web design and she was selected as the best presenter during the Zoroastrian Educational Conference.  She was the editor in chief of ZSO for two years and was a volunteer columnist in Amordad Newspaper.

Elham has made her belief the greatest fundamental of her continuous work and studies so that she can become successful not only for herself but by reflecting images of hope, positivity, and truthfulness into other’s lives whiling holding their hands.

Watch Elham's video by clicking here


Fariba Khoshnasib-ZeinabadFariba Khoshnasib-Zeinabad came to United States as a refugee, three years ago. Just two days after her arrival, she went to register for college. However she had to study in English and she had to spend much more time and effort comparing to her American classmates to read the textbook, she never gave up hope. Once she started taking classes in University of Texas at Dallas as a sophomore, it took her 1.5 years to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics.

She knows she might not be a talented person but she has AhuraMazda’s gift of persistence. She learns from her failures and improves herself and this helped her have a GPA of 3.87 where she graduated with Latin honor of Magna Cum Lade. Her name was listed in president’s list of honor students in Collin county community college. Later, she managed to get admitted to the fast-track program in UTD in which she took a few graduate courses while being an undergraduate student.

She was the winner of the FEZANA scholarship in 2008. Currently, she is in her second year of my Master’s degree in the field of Engineering Mathematics. She is also a member of Math club and Rotaract club in University of Texas at Dallas. She plans to do research in the field of Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering while teaching Mathematics in College level in the future. She is also engaged in community service and youth activities of Zoroastrian association of Dallas area.

She believes that, any of you students can do what she has succeeded to do. She doesn’t call it accomplishment but this was all because of her persistence and everyone’s encouragements along the way. She will try her hardest to utilize the knowledge and experience she has gained for improvement of her community in any possible way. Just like Zoroastrian community is helping her today to have a better life. It shall be her duty to make others’ lives happier and easier, tomorrow.

Watch Fariba's video by clicking here


Rishad Patel is currently pursuing his JD at the University of Chicago Law School. He graduated this past December from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a concentration in Economic Decision Analysis.

While at Georgia Tech, Rishad held many leadership positions and served on several leadership and philanthropy boards. He served as Treasurer for Georgia Tech as well as Treasurer for his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. Rishad also served on the board for Relay for Life and Tech Beautification Day (partnered with Hands on Atlanta). Rishad is also a part of several honor societies, including Order of Omega, and received multiple scholastic honors, such as C. Whitney Knoll Campus Leadership Award. He is also a Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Scholar.

Rishad has traveled extensively during his undergraduate studies, studying abroad in Argentina for six months and in Australia and New Zealand. While in Australia, he participated in the Global Classroom Project, which aims to provide a digital forum that allows students from the United States and Russia to discuss and develop collaborative projects. He hopes to continue his international travels this summer by working for a Human Rights program in South Africa.

Watch Rishad's video by clicking here


Julie BharuchaJulie Bharucha is a first year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to starting dental school, she completed her undergrad at MIT, majoring in Biology and minoring in Music and Applied International Studies.
Julie was born and raised in Middletown, NY. As an active member of the Zoroastrian community, she attended Zoroastrian classes and later taught Zoroastrian classes to young Zoroastrians between the ages of 7 and 9. When moving to Boston to study at MIT, she continued to stay involved in ZAGBA and will continue to do so in Philadelphia.
Throughout her undergraduate career, Julie was an active member in her local community and soon became involved in international development work as well. On campus, she was a member of the MIT Wind Ensemble and President of this organization for 3 years. She was also the coordinator and counselor for a pre-orientation program, the Freshman Urban Program, which introduced incoming freshman to community service projects and opportunities they could pursue during the next four years.
As well as being an active member in her school, Julie has traveled to Nicaragua, Zambia, and India to continue her service work in underdeveloped communities. Her experiences led her to volunteering at health clinics in Nicaragua, testing and treating water with a chlorination system in Zambia, and starting a sanitation system in a slum community in Delhi, India.
Julie’s experiences, her education, and support from her family and friends have led her to pursue a career in dentistry, where she can continue her passion to serve her community.

Watch Julie's video by clicking here


Parisa JavedaniParisa Javedani is a first year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University’s School of Medicine in Portland, OR.  Since starting medical school, Parisa has continued working with underserved populations by volunteering in free clinics in the Portland area.  She has also undertaken a leadership position in the SNMA student group.  This group’s goal is to provide support for minority students who hope to pursue a career in medicine.  In her free time, Parisa enjoys skiing, swimming, and traveling.

In 2008, Parisa graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR.  During her undergraduate time, she was a member of several honor societies and received several prestigious awards, including the Presidential Scholar and Bowerman awards, from the University of Oregon.  At the University of Oregon, Parisa undertook leadership positions in student organizations on campus, including a vice-president position in Alpha Chi Omega.  Aside from her academic achievements, Parisa was also an active member of both the Portland and Eugene communities, and she volunteered for over 5 years with several non-profit organizations.

Parisa has provided an article instead of a video which can be found here.


Parshan NamiranianParshan Namiranian was born in Tehran, Iran. He graduated from Tehran University School of Dentistry. After completing his Obligatory Military Service he moved to the US, successfully passed the National Board Dental Examination and got accepted to UCLA School of Dentistry to receive a US dental license. Currently he is a 4th year dental student and looking for continuing his education in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency.

After Parshan was accepted to Tehran University, he mentored a class at Kanoon-e-Daneshjooyan Zartoshti to educate the interested students on proper method of studying for University Entrance Exam (Konkoor).

Parshan also had the honor of being the class president for two years at Tehran University, during which he had a lot of interactions with many faculty and staff members. He realized that they were very interested in knowing more about Zoroastrianism. Likewise, many of them expressed their admiration for zarthushti people and how much they loved working with them.
During the period of June 2007 - Jan 2009 Parshan volunteered as a research student at UCSF department of Biomaterials, UCLA department of Bio-engineering and UCLA department of Dental Materials.

On 2007 Parshan began working at Align Technology, a company conducting research on orthodontic aligners. After a few months, he was involved with finding a solution to address the weak points of aligners. In a few weeks, he discovered the answer, prepared the corresponding prototype and presented his idea in a meeting with the Clinical Vice President and the Senior R&D Director. Afterwards, his efforts were rewarded when he was named the inventor of this soon-to-be registered U.S. patent.

Outside of the academic curriculum at UCLA School of Dentistry, Parshan started an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Study Club for those of his colleagues who were interested in this specialty. This provided him and his fellow students with additional opportunities to interface with surgeons as well as attend interesting lectures on various oral and maxillofacial surgery topics.
Parshan was honored the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni International Scholarship on May 2009 for his educational achievements.

Parshan enjoy playing piano and had some piano concerts at Sazman-e-Fravahar when he was in Iran.

Watch Parshan's video by clicking here