The Last Word

Classmate to Classmate

By Shaine Amir Holloway, B.A.’18

Prior to graduating in May 2018, I talked with classmate Madeeha “Mady” Khan about her experience at UAlbany and how she was feeling as she headed into her last days as a student. Despite all of the accolades Mady had earned as a student leader – she received a Chancellor’s Award, served as a Purple & Gold Student Ambassador, and was elected vice president of the Student Association, to name just a few of her achievements – I found that she had the same reservations about her future that many of our classmates had.

Mady Khan

Here are her reflections . . .  

. . . on family

The first time Mady left her native New Delhi, India, was when she flew to the U.S. to attend the University at Albany. “I stepped toward the flight attendant to present my ticket, then looked back at my family,” she recalls. “If I’d given them one more look after that, I would’ve stayed in India and never flown to New York.” Mady’s younger brother was 12 when she left. “A lot has changed between us in the last few years, with a lot less communication, but I have to remind myself that he’s growing and finding himself just as I have been.” 

. . . on education 

“People criticized my mother for spending so much money on my education. In America, going to college is natural. In India, it’s different,” says Mady, who graduated with a degree in computer science and a minor in business. She was able to adapt well to the culture at UAlbany, and with the exception of things like food – Mady is vegetarian and “survived on pizza and French fries in the dining halls” early on – she fell in love with the campus and excelled. 

. . . on fear 

Mady is always on the move and never wants to become complacent. “I’m most afraid of getting [too] comfortable. I feel like right now, my life is defined by things that get me out of my comfort zone.” 

. . . on her idol

Mady previously served as Student Association vice president alongside classmate, fellow 2018 graduate, and SA president Jerlisa “Juju” Fontaine. “Juju inspires me a lot. Everything she does, she does for someone else. I don’t think I can ever get to her level. Juju is the definition of selfless.”

Khan currently works at Ernst & Young in New York City.  Holloway is pursuing a master’s degree in English at UAlbany.