For our next MSBA-BA Women’s History Month Spotlight, we are highlighting Cohort V student, Katayoun “Kathy” Ara. Kathy is an innovative chemist with extensive experience in teaching and research in the field of Analytical Chemistry. She has a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and both a Masters and PhD in Analytical Chemistry.

During her undergraduate career, she started writing for a science magazine where she had her own column titled “Life Around Us.” In her column, she wrote about the chemistry of life, the effect of hormones and chemical reactions that happen every day in our body, and the new discoveries in environmental chemistry. She continued writing for the magazine during her graduate career and eventually became the editor-in-chief. During her PhD, she started publishing pamphlets about the effects of different types of opioids such ecstasy, crystal methamphetamine, crack cocaine, fentanyl, etc. and their impact on our body. The pamphlets were widely distributed on campus and were discussed extensively leading to a positive effect on the war against drugs in her community.

Before joining Cohort V of the MSBA-BA program, Kathy was a full-time scientist. She applied and came to the program because she wanted to leverage her career and make herself more of a well-rounded, business-minded individual. The program, the coursework, and the capstone project have taught her how to think differently and how to frame business opportunities and problems that she may have traditionally overlooked. One of the biggest takeaways thus far from the program for Kathy has been to use the problem-first approach rather than the data-first approach.

With a deeply rooted science background like Kathy’s, she is able to bring a diverse and innovative perspective to the program and to class discussions. We are looking forward to seeing Kathy continue to flourish in the program and combine her background in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry with her high impact business analytics skills to make a real difference in the world.