Sabeen Rokerya is an outstanding example of what we should all strive to be as women in the 21st century. A junior majoring in Public Health and double minoring in Spanish and Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior (EPIB), Sabeen has contributed much of her time and effort to bettering the social environment of Rutgers University. For three years she has been a dedicated Rutgers University Student Assembly committee chairwoman, and has also worked with the Douglass Governing Council and the Women’s Center Coalition to coordinate the Free Menstrual Hygiene Products Initiative. “We realized products were not available to students, they were overpriced in the convenience stores. This initiative was something that other universities were doing and we weren’t,” said Sabeen. This program helped to gather research in order to start a pilot to provide free feminine hygiene products in all four Rutgers student centers and the Rutgers Student Food Pantry.
As a Douglass Woman, Sabeen states that “joining Douglass was the best decision I ever made." She started her college career in the Woodbury Bunting-Cobb residence hall, where she received opportunities for research and an opportunity to study abroad in Mexico. Through Douglass, Sabeen participated in two externships, one at Bristol-Myers Squibb and another at a non-profit organization that supports low-income pregnant and parenting individuals. Through her externships, Sabeen was able to see the ins and outs of the pharmaceutical industry as well as learn about and interact with people in her immediate area.
For pastimes, Sabeen likes to run, dance and write poetry. She is also teaching herself how to read sheet music again. In the next few years, Sabeen would like to serve as a public scholar, where she can work closely with communities, research the issues that impact them, while helping them with any resources that she may have. On the topic of research in public health, Sabeen states “there is a very big distinction to be made with doing research versus doing research and giving them something that’s going to help them grow for themselves.”
Sabeen is an avid believer in the saying of ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’ After college, Sabeen plans to continue working with communities, whether that means pursuing a masters degree or conducting field work as a part of a program. As final words of advice, Sabeen says to “be patient. You will hit more roadblocks than you expect but you are stronger than you know.”
Written by Andreia Cheong-A-Shack DRC’20