Candidates for the academic year 2010-2011

Dear fellow PSA members,

We are happy to officially announce the PSA election results for the academic year 2010-11.
Special thanks goes to Morteza Ibrahimi for holding the elections.
Thursday, March 11th - 2010

President (1 position) Votes Precent
Arezoo Islami 38 40.4
Ramin Miri 29 30.9
Ehsan Sadeghipour 27 28.7
Board Member (4 positions) Votes
Nima Ahmadi 67
Arezoo Islami 64
Ehsan Sadeghipour 55
Sahar Nasirpour 52
Reza Nasiri 45
Ramin Miri 41
Mohammad Akbarpour 35
Alireza Sharafat 29
Hamid Reza Chalabi 16
Ombudsperson (1 position) Votes
Peyman Kazemian 82

Here is the list of candidates for this year's election along with their statements.

Board Member/President
Graduate, Electrical Engineering
Email: rmiri AT stanford DOT edu

Dear Fellow PSA Members,
Dear Friends,


I am Ramin, a second year graduate student in EE department. I have completed my undergrads @ Sharif, and my Masters @ UC-Irvine. My social appetite had me involved in voluntary activities since high school. During my undergrads @ Sharif, I had the opportunity to serve as VP of academic and educational relations in the student council of EE department for 2 years. It was also a great leadership experience to serve as VP of industrial relations to bring in support and funding, as well as advertisement for the BC&DVB conference held by RESANA (EE department student association), 2004.

After about 2 years of sharing the joy of PSA events and activities with new and welcoming friends @ Stanford, and despite my family hurdles which weren’t going to let me finalize my decision, I was blessed enough to stay in Stanford and encouraged by many of PSA members to run for this election. Hence, I am sincerely nominating myself to serve as next year’s PSA President.

Now let me share my fascinating experience from helping out in PSA event’s this year, as well as serving as a link between Persian Center and Berkeley students with PSA and Stanford students. That is the 3 fundamental values to be gained before one may enjoy a voluntary organization leadership; Passion, Experience, and Network. A great deal of passion for helping out people and social activities is required to make one stay and being productive in a non-profit organization such as PSA, and that is one of my major strengths. Some of you may have seen it partly based on my involvements in current PSA activities; from new members welcoming rides and helps to organizing events, and offering my help whenever PSA board needed some. Before taking the stake to a higher level of responsibility and authority, such as PSA president, one needs to be involved in voluntary work in general, gain knowledge of non-profit extracurricular organizations, and specifically participate in PSA’s events and activities, to realize how fascinating could be volunteering in a non-profit organization with all its pitfalls and day to day issues. And last, but most important is to build up a good network of key individuals and organizations in the Persian/Iranian community to be able to get in charge and take PSA’s activities to a higher level of achievements.

I am delighted to share some ideas and initiatives I would push forward as the next PSA president:

With many sincere thanks,
Ramin Miri

Board Member/President
Graduate, Philosophy
Email: arezooi AT stanford DOT edu


Dear Iranians at Stanford,

We all are different, with different educational backgrounds, different cultural and religious upbringings, different ideals, different areas of study and research, and diverse goals. But what we have in common is where we are born, the country with which we associate the most, the language we speak and the ambition to contribute to the social scene of our country, Iran. I strongly believe that the diversity among us is the most important and valuable basis for building an understanding of each other in the Persian Student Association. Through communication, we can learn from each other, make strong friendships and have pleasant and enjoyable times.

My friends and I who are running to take part in PSA election as the board members and president have an understanding of this invaluable opportunity to serve our Iranian classmates and colleagues in Stanford. We are holding hands to start a process in which we can develop our personalities and moments of joy within a network of highly educated, democratic and diverse Iranians.

We are excited to plan a variety of programs based on what we have learned from previous PSA boards including our traditional Yalda night, Eid, Charshanbe soori etc as well as some more innovative programs for which we feel a need, including poetry readings, philosophy and history of Iran reading groups, Hookah nights, Human right issue discussions, etc in collaboration with Iranian-Americans, and student organizations in Bay area.

A bit about me: I am a first year PhD student in Analytic Philosophy with a background in pure Mathematics. I see philosophy as a strong tool to communicate with different people regardless of their race, background, religion and culture. Philosophy has taught me how to understand other people’s positions, analyze and evaluate them as means to better ourselves as human agents which in turn leads to better our society.

Please feel free to look at my departmental website for more information:

Board Member/President
Graduate, Mechanical Engineering
Email: ehsans AT stanford DOT edu

Dear PSA Members,

My name is Ehsan Sadeghipour, and I am a first year mechanical engineering MS/PhD student. I am interested in serving as a PSA board member in the upcoming academic year, and I would love to gain your support in this endeavor. Having completed my high school and undergraduate education in the United States, if elected, I intend to use these experiences to serve our community in new ways. At my undergraduate institution, The Ohio State University, I served as the Treasurer of my residence hall, the President of the International Studies Club (ISC), the Vice President and President of the Mechanical Engineering Honors Society (Pi Tau Sigma – PTS), and as a frequent contributor to PARSA (the Iranian cultural group at Ohio State). Furthermore, as a high school and college student I contributed to campus public speaking organizations, and I wrote for and edited the student newspaper. Contributing to these organizations has given me the experience necessary to not only be in the executive board of a student organization, but also organize events that range from cultural and celebratory to technical and business oriented. Furthermore, my experiences in writing and speaking effectively will allow me to represent and advocate for our community within and outside this university.

I personally believe that the existence of such a group is not only necessary, but also our collective effort to organize events, promote our culture and language, and most importantly defend our rights has never been as pertinent. Leading ISC and PTS, and increasing the membership of those organizations, has given me the experiences necessary to contribute to next year’s board. My first contribution as a board member will be to work with the PSA community to start a PSA English-language quarterly newsletter. Such a publication would not only increase the visibility of our organization in the area and within the university, but also allow us to communicate more effectively with those of Iranian origin, especially undergraduates, who find it difficult to communicate in Persian. This quarterly newsletter will summarize the previous quarter’s events, report any news, and list the upcoming quarter’s events. In addition, our board will institutionalize certain annual celebrations, such as Shab-e Yalda, NoRooz, and Sizdah Be Dar. Making sure that these events take place every year, at a particular time, and in a certain format will give our organization an important level of discipline and continuity. Having served as a board member in the PSA Business Alliance this year will also allow me to contribute to events that integrate the efforts of PSA and PSA-BA. Finally, I will work with other board members to increase the number of events that interest Iranian undergraduates at Stanford, to increase their participation in our organization.

I believe that I have the plans and experiences necessary to contribute effectively to the PSA board next year. Furthermore, I have spoken with most of the other candidates at length, and I know that we can create an effective executive board for PSA. I look forward to receiving your support for this position. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions.

Sincerely yours,
Ehsan Sadeghipour

Board Member
Graduate, Electrical Engineering
Email: sharafat AT stanford DOT edu

My name is Ali Reza Sharafat and I am a first year MS/PhD student at the EE department. From what I observed during the past quarter or so, the PSA events have been mostly large-scale, which had required a lot of behind-the-scene work to make them happen. And as the help and commitment from the community has not been significant, this has put a lot of weight on the the board members. Despite the efforts of the board members, there has been a drop in the community's participation and interest. In addition to that, we have observed a very low participation from the undergraduate body.

My first goal as a board member, is to organize some simple events over the year that do not require a lot of setup, and have been historically popular with the Persian community; Ghelyoun (aka hooka, sheesha) and playing cards are two such examples. I believe these on-campus events will help to draw the community back to the PSA, which in turn would result to more interest and motivation for the rest of the events. I am also open to any ideas brought up by the rest of the board members as well as the community. I should also remind that I am committed to help with the organization of the past PSA events that have been proven to be popular (e.g., Yalda night, Norouz, etc.).

As my second second goal, I plan to use our links within the undergraduate community to encourage them to attend the events as well. It would also be very beneficial if we could hold the events in English rather than Farsi to make the events more welcoming.

All in all, I will do my best to serve the Persian community in my capacity. In that respect, I hope to get to talk to all of you and try to deliver what you expect from this year's PSA. Nevertheless, your help and participation are also imperative, and that starts with your votes for the election. So let's get started!

Board Member
Graduate, Electrical Engineering
Email: saharnassirpour AT yahoo DOT com

Dear fellow PSA members,

My name is Sahar Nassirpour and I am a first year PhD student in the Electrical Engineering department. I have received my BSc degree (also in Electrical Engineering) from Sharif University of Technology. I am now running for the board member position of PSA.

As a proud Persian, I think while studying here at Stanford, there are several activities that can make life much easier and more enjoyable for us and also give more meaning to it: keeping in touch with our rich cultural background, trying to unite the Iranian society and to support each other as much as we can.

I think PSA provides a great platform for all these activities and helps us spend a good time here together, so that when we all move on with our lives, we have some unforgettable memories from the time we were fellow students here at Stanford. This is why me and a group of my friends decided to run for the election this year.Last but not least, a great thing about our team is that we have a balanced number of boys and girls, therefore we can represent the views of both groups equally in our team.

Thank you,
-Sahar Nassirpour

Board Member
Email: nahmadi AT stanford DOT edu

My name is Nima Ahmadi and I am an undergraduate student interested in majoring in Biomedical Computation. As board member, I seek to provide an undergraduate, Iranian American perspective that is vital to the mission of the PSA. Born in Iran and fluent in Farsi, I have a profound love for my culture and heritage that I have eagerly explored over the years while being actively involved in my community. There are many students of Iranian descent at Stanford, however, who have not been able to access the rich culture and intellectual history of Iran to the extent that I have, despite being equally motivated. The Persian Student Association must provide a comfortable environment of mutual learning for undergraduate and graduate students where language barriers do not exist and differences among students are overcome by the bonds they share as Iranians. My ultimate vision as board member is to foster a sense of responsibility among members of the PSA towards the Iranian-American community here at Stanford and beyond. I am eager to work closely with other members of the board to innovate and manage activities for the community that can accomplish my vision and satisfy the interests of members, both graduate and undergraduate.

Board Member
Graduate, Electrical Engineering
Email: rnasiri AT stanford DOT edu

Dear friends,

I'm Reza Nasiri Mahalati, second year PhD student at the EE department. I did my undergraduate at Sharif University of Technology.

PSA has been a great source of help and support for the Iranian community at Stanford for many years. Having benefited so much from PSA since I came to Stanford, I believe it is our responsibility to keep up the great work that the previous boards have done and start contributing to our community. This was the main motivation for us, as a group of friends, to run for the election this year. Each of us comes from a different background and has different passions and dreams for the PSA. Yet our friendship from many year ago ties us together and enables us to work as "one" team with "one" goal: to serve the diverse society of Iranians at Stanford as best as we can.

Board Member
Graduate, Management Science and Engineering
Email: mohamwad AT stanford DOT edu

Dear Friends,

I am Mohammad Akbarpour, the first-year master student of MS&E department. In this short letter, I want to tell you about what I have thought about PSA. But before that, I want to emphasize that I might not be at Stanford for the next academic year because I have applied for PhD (the probability of being here is something around 30%), and it was my ethical responsibility to let you know this. But if I stay, I will do my best.

What I think about PSA is that we need to redefine PSA vision and missions. It was a very bad feeling that I had after each of PSA events when I saw Naveed (and other PSA team members) too tired, and at the same time, many people were criticizing them about the deficits of what they had already done. It was very kind of them to manage all these events this year and I do thank them. That said, I guess the problem is that there is a huge gap between what we “expect” from PSA and what we are ready to “devote” to PSA. As of myself, I was looking for a much better Yalda night event, but I even did not volunteer to help PSA members, or I did not tell them my ideas.

In my opinion, PSA is not a group like a government that you vote for a president and he/she should do everything with his/her team. I believe that we should redefine PSA missions. Let me describe my opinion by using Yalda night example. Imagine that we want to have an event at Yalda night. One way is to expect PSA board to manage everything. Buy food, prepare an artistic show, reserve a place, etc. (Or in its best possible case, a few other help them, because they are friends. Here, it is worth to thank those kind of people as well, especially Tahereh Marvdashti who was so active in all the events I attended) But in the model that we’re looking for, PSA, by sending email or talking to people, ask for people who may accept to be responsible for that event, and that guy should form his/her own team. They can, of course, ask from PSA board for some helps as well. In this way, if there are 100 Iranians who believe that they like PSA events, and each of them - to prove their likeness - accepts to manage “one” event per academic year, we can have around 25 events, at least. If there is no one who want to prove his/her interest in having an active PSA, then there may be no event, instead. By this kind of outsourcing, not only we won't have too much pressure on PSA boards, but also new network connections may appear if there is more than a single guy interested in managing an event such as Yalda.

One may ask: So, what is the role of PSA board? My experience in Resana Group at Sharif shows that even with such a model, the board has the responsibility of many things such as finding people for events, connecting people, and defining new events (example: Alireza’s Ghelyoon idea! or Arezoo’s cultural ideas, Nima's idea about undergrads, etc). And at the same time, no organization can continue its living without management; so we need a management team even (in its limit case) with the same responsibility as other members!

I very much appreciate your time.

Wish all of you the bests,
Mohammad Akbarpour

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