Volume X / 2021
The University of Texas at Arlington | College of Engineering

Shared Connection

Fiza Saeed benefited from a UTA scholarship.
Fiza Saeed benefited from a UTA scholarship.

In some areas of Pakistan, girls are not expected to benefit much from school. Their priority is assumed to be marriage, not education.

But Fiza Saeed always wanted to be a doctor, and this goal enabled her to push back against cultural norms and her family’s expectations. Thanks to the generosity of Asif Malik (’91 M.S., ’85 B.S., Computer Science and Engineering), the senior bioengineering major is now working toward a degree in the medical field. Malik established a scholarship at UTA in honor of his mother, Shamim Sughra Malik, M.D., who served in the Pakistani army and was one of very few female doctors in the country.

Saeed is the first in her family to attend a university, and life in Texas took some time to get used to. From the start, though, she felt like UT Arlington was her new home.

“I’m so thankful to be the recipient of the Dr. Shamim Sughra Malik Endowed Scholarship because I can concentrate on earning my degree and focus on my future career,” Saeed says. “The connection I have with Mr. Malik and his family goes beyond just a scholarship, and I’m proud to represent our home country.”

Malik is chief technology officer for AIG Japan. His wife, Khumara Asad, is also from Pakistan.

“To be part of Fiza’s story and give her a little boost is really uplifting. She’s a role model for the next generation of Pakistani students,” Malik says. “It’s amazing what a person can do when they put their mind to it.”