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Get to Know a Retriever

Young woman gives back and sustains her culture

What is your name, major, and year?

My name is Farrah Daham. I am a senior who is double-majoring in physics and mathematics.


Where are you from (city, county, state)?

I am of Lebanese descent, but I am originally from Washington, D.C. My family and I later moved to Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County.


Who do you admire and why?

I know that it is a cliché, but I really admire my parents. Their decision to leave their respective families to study in the U.S. was a bold one that not many people have the opportunity to choose. They did a fantastic job integrating my sisters and I into American culture while making sure that we kept Arab traditions and principles close to our hearts. They are my superheroes, and they encourage me to strive for excellence and achieve my full potential!


What is your career goal?

I am currently doing research in the Atmospheric Physics Department, and plan on getting my Ph.D. and continuing research in that field.


If you could change one thing around the world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing around the world, it would be the access that people have to basic public goods and services such as education, clean drinking water and healthy food. It is an environmental issue that is deep to my heart.


What do you like most about UMBC?


I really like the small size of the campus. I always see the same people, even if I have never met them before; the familiarity creates a comfortable learning environment for me.


What activities do you participate in on campus?

I used to be part of the Astronomy Club during my freshman year, but now I am only focused on school and my internship.


Who is the celebrity you would like to meet; what would you do with him/her?

I have always been a huge fan of Bill Clinton! I would like to spend the whole day with him asking for advice, learning more about his personal life and discussing his continued interest in politics, particularly humanitarian outreach efforts for various international causes.


What is/are your favorite thing(s) to do outside of UMBC?

Besides school and my internship, I have a little side business where I sell clothes and accessories that I do not really wear or no longer want on eBay. It is a great way to make extra money every month.


Where do you want to spend your next vacation?

My next vacation spot is Mexico! It is a beautiful place culturally and geographically.


What is your favorite genre of television (comedy, competition, reality, etc.) and why?

My favorite shows are Desperate Housewives, American Horror Story, The Office, Lost and The Walking Dead, in that order. I like shows that offer comedic relief, but I am more into mystery.


What kind of music do you like?

I really only listen to Beyoncé, and honestly she is all I need! Her voice reigns supreme.


If you met Dr. Hrabowski (UMBC President), what would you say to him?

I have already met Dr. Hrabowski a few times, but we only discussed school. I guess I would ask him about his favorite foods or something personal like that. It humanizes him in a way that makes him more approachable as a university president.