A double major in art and genetics, molecular and cellular biology, Ali aspires to be a physician scientist, and he says studying art improves his skills as a scientist. On campus, he participates in SEA-PHAGES research and puts his chemistry minor into practice through research with Dr. David Arnett. Ali also serves as a leader for Northwestern’s International Club.
Art has always been a part of my life. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t drawing, painting or crafting. As a child, I had this euphoric thrill whenever I stepped into an art store because I felt the creative potential of all of the media. Studying art in college came naturally to me, as I wanted to develop my skills and elevate art from an enjoyable pastime to an academic study.
Studying art along with my major in genetics, molecular and cellular biology is simultaneously beautiful and challenging. It brings my heart so much joy to study both science and art because my passions lie in these areas. Studying science makes me a better artist, and studying art makes me a better scientist. My experiences in scientific research have honed my troubleshooting skills, which I regularly apply to my art to improve my craft. Studying art has taught me how to conceptualize the ideas that run wild in my imagination, and this has been especially useful in being creative in the experiments I design and conduct, and in how I study and explain science.
Northwestern’s art faculty continually push me out of my artistic comforts to explore other media. NWC art faculty are very wise, encouraging and diverse. It always amazes me to walk into their offices and see how each of them create different forms of art and express themselves through diverse media. I cannot fully express my gratitude to them for facilitating my artistic growth.
More than art
Being an art major has enriched my spiritual experience. The creative process is a spiritual encounter for me. Whenever I create, I center on the process, and it helps me engage with and focus on God. Every piece of art brings me closer to understanding the unfathomable mystery of God’s creative process.
Words of encouragement
Northwestern has humbled and pushed me in many ways. First and foremost, Northwestern has refined my faith and academic intellect. I appreciate the richness of the genuine and vulnerable communities at Northwestern and find them to be beautiful gifts from God. I encourage students to choose Northwestern if they’re seeking intimate learning environments that focus on cultivating connections and interdisciplinary skills.