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Doing Their Part: 2020 Activities Honorary Society Inductees

They participate, they lead, they organize, they inspire and they excel. Every year since 1950, the Activities Honorary Society (AHS) has recognized exceptional undergraduate students whose leadership in a variety of student organizations has made the UIC community better. AHS, one of the only two active traditions remaining from the Navy Pier Campus, is also unique in its selection process. Throughout its 70-year history, AHS alumni have selected the new inductees. Read on to meet this year’s AHS students, an ambitious group of future judges, CEOs, doctors, nurses and more.

Lazma Deeb headshot

Lazma Deeb
BS in Biological Sciences

Hometown? Chicago

Why is service important? It teaches selflessness, leadership and competence.

Best memory of UIC? Planning my first service event at UIC as a freshman. I planned a bagged lunch event in which 500 lunches were packaged and distributed to underserved communities in Chicago.

Next after graduation?  I plan on attending UIC College of Dentistry.

Dream job? To open my own dental practice and be able to offer services to underserved communities nationally and internationally.

Raj Patel headshot

Raj Patel
BS in Biological Sciences

Hometown? Frankfort, Illinois

Best memory of UIC? I worked with a friend on a project to develop a publicly available, practical tool where consumers can search Chicago hospitals and compare estimated post-insurance benefits/costs for various procedures in order to make informed healthcare decisions. After months of hard work, our project won UIC’s innovation prize, the Maurice Prize.

How do you balance schoolwork multiple activities? I approach my tasks one at a time, giving myself necessary breaks with friends and family. I set priorities and make to do lists to stay organized.

Next after graduation? I will be matriculating into the UIC College of Medicine in the Clinician Executive Medicine Program.

Dream job? Practicing as a physician.

Quinn Kelly headshot

Quinn Kelly
BA in Psychology and Economics

Hometown? I’m from a military family, so we’ve moved around a bunch. I was born in Missouri, but I lived in Germany, Texas and England. I’m now from southern Illinois; that’s where my family currently lives.

Why UIC? I chose UIC because of the people. I wanted to get out of that rural area to challenge myself, to engage with new people with new ideas.

How did activities enrich your education? When we do the work of helping others, it increases our drive. Not having an off switch generally makes me more effective at my schooling.

Best UIC memory? It was an impromptu trip to Promontory Point in Hyde Park. People who I was vaguely friends with became close friends. One of them influenced me to become an economics major.

Dream job? One of the coolest jobs would be in developmental economics, working for an international development agency like USAID to improve economic outcomes within a developing country. You can make large, impactful changes by increasing rule of law and economic development.


Jyotsna Bitra headshot

Jyotsna Bitra
BS in Biological Sciences

Hometown? I am from Bloomington, Illinois.

Why is service important? I think it’s really important to give back, especially when we spend so much time focusing on ourselves and our careers, it’s important to think about the people and places that brought us to where we are today.

Best memory of UIC? Nights spent with my friends talking, laughing and sometimes baking.

How do you balance schoolwork with activities? Staying organized and planning ahead of time help me a lot. I write myself notes everywhere.

Next after graduation? I will be taking a gap year, working at a healthcare technology company.

Deborah Salami headshot

Deborah Salami
BA in Criminology, Law, and Justice

Hometown? I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, but now I live in Atlanta.

How did activities enrich your education?  As an out-of-state student, my activity involvement has given me a home away from home.

Best memory of UIC? When I received a confirmation from the school that the organization I founded, Criminology, Law, and Justice Student Society, was established and recognized.

How do you balance schoolwork with activities? Practice, practice, practice! Google calendar has been a useful tool for me. When I feel overwhelmed or stressed, I inform my professors, employers, co-workers, advisors, family and friends because I know the importance of communication.

Dream job? My dream job is to become a chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Janaki Patel headshot

Janaki Patel
BS in Rehabilitation Sciences

Hometown? Toledo, Ohio

How did activities enrich your education? I was able to meet new people, create positive relationships with faculty, find resources around campus and give back to our campus and greater community.

Best memory of UIC? Every first day of each semester. I always look forward to the first day because, for one day, campus has a different energy. Everyone is excited to be back, the dining hall is full, the library is full of conversation and every class and student organization is eager to get started.

How do you balance schoolwork with activities? Time management is key. Structure, discipline and goals help me balance time between academics and activities.

Next after graduation? I will start graduate school and work toward a doctorate in occupational therapy.

Noor Chaudhry headshot

Noor Chaudhry
BS in Neuroscience

Hometown? I am originally from Karachi, Pakistan, but I now live in Orland Park, Illinois.

How did activities enrich your education? My involvement has led me to have a deeper appreciation for UIC’s diverse community and educational programs.

How do you balance schoolwork with activities? I plan my schedule every Sunday night and block off specific times for each activity.

Next after graduation? I plan to attend medical school to complete an MD-PhD program in neurobiology.

Dream job? To work as a neurologist in a clinic as well as lead a clinical research lab.


Bruna Tavares headshot

Bruna Tavares                                  
BS in Marketing

Hometown? I was born in Brazil and moved to Dunlap, Illinois, in 2007.

How did activities enrich your education? It has not only allowed me to explore different parts of myself as an individual but also connected me with some of the most amazing people at this university.

Why is service important? One of my mottos is “Always leave things better than you found them.” By serving our community, I’m able to use my talents to better it. Service doesn’t have to come in large actions and events—it can be the smallest thing, like picking up trash on the sidewalk. Knowing that I did my part makes me happy.

Next after graduation? I hope to go into a digital marketing role for a strong brand in the travel industry.

Dream job? Ever since I went on my first cruise and fell in love with the experience, I’ve wanted to be the chairperson and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, helping people experience the joy that travel brings.

Timothy Oommen headshot

Timothy Oommen
BA in Psychology

Hometown? I am from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.

Why UIC? UIC has an excellent reputation for research. Furthermore, being minutes away from the city allows students to participate meaningfully through civic engagement, volunteering and internships.

Why is service important? I have been blessed to study abroad and get my degree from a university like UIC. I feel it is my duty to give something back to the community.

Next after graduation? I plan to pursue a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on corporate social responsibility.

Dream job? Representing my country on a global forum, within the United Nations or the Indian Civil Services.

Gianna Tan headshot

Gianna Tan
BS in Nursing

Hometown? Morton Grove, Illinois.

Why is service important? I feel that working to better conditions in a community is the best way to make society a better place.

Best memory of UIC ? My involvement in the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center and Global Asian Studies Program made up some of my best memories as I learned more about myself and helped raise awareness for issues relevant to the Asian community.

How do you balance schoolwork with activities? I keep an organizer and make sure I have everything written down. Each week I create an assignment and study schedule to ensure I have everything finished.

Dream job? Nurse practitioner, potentially in pediatrics or midwifery.