Candidates for the academic year 2014-2015

Dear fellow PSA members,

We are happy to officially announce the PSA election results for the academic year 2014-15.
Special thanks goes to Milad Mohammadi for holding the elections.

Wednesday, March 5th - 2014

President (1 position) Votes
Alireza Sharafat 59
Board Member (4 positions) Votes
Alborz Bejnood 56
Alireza Sharafat 60
Milad Sharif 37
Mostafa Afkhamizadeh 38
Negar Rahmati 55
Omid Aryan 51
Ombudsperson (1 position) Votes
Shahab Mirjalili 63

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

PhD. in Electrical Engineering
Email: sharafat AT stanford DOT edu

My name is Ali Reza and I'm a fifth year graduate student in the EE department. I've spent the last year and a half away from Stanford and I'm really excited to be back and running for the President of PSA. I have served in the PSA board twice before, as a board member and as the ombudsperson. If elected, my main goal is to plan and organize more events but at smaller scales so we can get the members more involved in the planning and execution of events and inspire them to take more ownership of our small community.

Board Member
MS in Electrical Engineering
Email: abejnood AT stanford DOT edu

Dear PSA,

My name is Alborz Bejnood, and I'm a first-year EE Master's student (undergrad also here at Stanford).

The PSA exists as an organization to help connect Iranian students. Despite our diverse backgrounds and experiences, we all share a heritage and culture which in many ways define who we are. My goal for the PSA as a board member would be to help facilitate these connections through initiating and supporting groups for members to participate in, including cultural groups, sports groups, discussion groups, and game groups, among others. These groups would be encouraged in conjunction with traditional larger events that the PSA hosts, in order to provide a platform through which members can feel comfortable and make lifelong friendships.

Thanks for your consideration, and I hope to be able to serve you in next year's PSA board!


Board Member
PhD. in Electrical Engineering
Email: msharif AT stanford DOT edu

My name is Milad and I'm a fourth year graduate student in the EE department. My objective is to have a larger variety of events to cater to the varied interests of the community. I'll also try to keep the size of the events small, so they are easier to organize and have the members more involved. I'm looking forward to working with a fantastic board next year!

Board Member
PhD, Management Sciences and Engineering
Email: mafkhami AT stanford DOT edu

Dear PSA members,

My name is Mostafa Afkhamizadeh and I am a second year PhD student in Management Science and Engineering. I got BS and MS degrees in Industrial Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.

Through my experience of participating and helping to organize several PSA events, I have learned that to achieve the goal of a livelier PSA we need two things: Devoted and responsible board members and involvement of all the members. As a result I can think of the following objectives for the next PSA board:

- Continuing the successful seasonal events of previous years.

- Getting PSA members more involved in initiating and organizing events and groups through better communication within PSA groups.

- Developing and hosting the necessary platforms to ease two-way communication between members.

I hope to have the opportunity to use my passion and discipline to serve as part of an effective, devoted PSA board.


Board Member
MS in Electrical Engineering
Email: rahmati AT stanford DOT edu

I am Negar Rahmati and I am a first year Master’s student at the Electrical Engineering department. I did my undergraduate studies in Computer Engineering at Sharif University.

I have become a candidate for the PSA board of directors in order to make sure that PSA would continue to make a vibrant and lively environment for all of us to gather for simple reasons, celebrate our traditional events, and nourish our souls through cultural events. Within the short period that I have been at Stanford, I have benefited from PSA activities in many different ways. PSA has welcomed me warmly during the past few months and made me feel at home although being miles away from home. I think it is about time that I make others feel the same way and contribute to PSA as a board member. I believe that with the great potential that PSA has gained through years, I will be able to invite intellectual lecturers, run concerts, and organize different cultural activities. Also, I am planning to promote the diversity of PSA and remain open to new ideas about different types of events and activities from all members.

Finally, I am dedicated to pursuing PSA's current goals and values, make it thrive and provide a friendly environment that brings all members together.


Board Member
MS. in Electrical Engineering
Email: aryano AT stanford DOT edu

My Fellow PSA Members,

My name is Omid Aryan, and I am a first-year graduate student in the department of electrical engineering. I completed my undergraduate education at MIT, majoring in electrical engineering and computer science. In addition, I did grades one through twelve of my schooling in Tehran, Iran.

The Persian Student Association at Stanford is perhaps one of the largest and most active Iranian student groups across all universities around the world. At the same time, the body includes some of the brightest Iranian minds that would most definitely be shaping the future of Iran as well as the rest of the world. As such, I believe that the association holds a remarkable advantage compared to other groups of its kind. As board member, I intend to make use of this advantage that we have for the betterment of our community. My vision for the PSA extends much further than merely holding small events that will entertain our students. I believe that there is much more that we can achieve.

For example, one of my goals is to organize events that not only include Stanford students, but also students from other universities around the Bay Area, and possibly from across the States or even from around the world. These events can, for instance, be forums where we gather students to talk about topics in the sciences, economics, art, and other major fields and allow them to exchange their ideas and findings in their respective disciplines. It may also be of the form of gatherings or parties that will allow our students to expand their network and to form long-lasting relationships. I believe that events like these will not only benefit our own students, but it will also create a brand and image of our association that will ultimately attract notable figures to our cause.

My second major goal as board member comes back to the community itself. The Persian student body at Stanford consists of a variety of students with different upbringings and perspectives. Yet, it seems that not all these students (not even the majority) tend to participate or have a role in the Persian Student Association. I believe that the PSA must represent the entire Persian community, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. We must realize that our commonalities far outshine our differences. No matter what religious beliefs we hold, what political views we have, or what generation we fall in, we all celebrate Nowruz and set up our Haft Sin tables, we all have pomegranate during Yalda and recite poems from Hafiz to each other, and we will all be cheering for our national team in the World Cup this coming summer. After all, we are all Persian, and this is exactly what the factor should be in uniting us as a community. Hence, as board member I intend to bring a more unanimous image to the PSA, and bring the community closer together by reaching out to the different fragments and soliciting their ideas for the association. I believe that by practicing a sense of respect in my own task of being a member of the board, I can inspire the community to practice a sense of mutual respect with one another, which I hope will lead to a more cordial and affable student body.

I understand that my objectives might be somewhat different from that of the other candidates, but I see them as being a complement rather than a conflict to their goals for the PSA. I also understand that my ambitions for the PSA might seem overly optimistic to some. Nonetheless, I ask you to share that optimism with me. I firmly believe that this association, with its diverse group of students and outstanding intellect, is capable of achieving far bigger achievements than what is currently thought. I look forward to being a part of those achievements if I am given the pleasure of serving you as a member of the board.

Omid Aryan

PhD, Mechanical Engineering
Email: ssmirjal AT stanford DOT edu

Dear fellow PSA members,

I am Shahab Mirjalili, a PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department. I did my undergrad in Sharif before joining Stanford for my Masters about three years ago. I am currently serving you as a board member and plan to continue my service as the ombudsperson of PSA next year. In addition to the formal roles of an ombudsperson, I would like to use my experience to help the new board in decision making and execution of their plans. Moreover, there have been some issues such as strengthening our feedback system and website, connecting with other student organizations, and bringing together the different subcultures among Persian students that have always been of concern to PSA boards but unfortunately haven’t been dealt with optimally. Based on my conversations with the candidates for board membership, we will hopefully make some noticeable developments in these domains.

I appreciate you reading all of this, and would be honored to serve you again!

Sincerely yours,

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