WIU Graduate Student Named to Honorable Mention USA Today All-Academic Team
February 15, 2001
MACOMB, IL - - A Western Illinois University graduate teaching assistant is among 106 students nationwide to be named to a USA Today All-Academic Team.
Kianor Shahmohammadi (pronounced Kee AH noh SHA mo ha MA dee) from Macomb, was named to the 2001 All-USA Academic Honorable Mention Team in recognition of his outstanding scholarship, research and community service. The awards are listed in the Feb. 15 USA Today Life section.
Currently a graduate teaching assistant in the WIU biology department, Kianor was a December 2000 bachelor of science graduate of WIU. He completed his degree in three years earning the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude, and graduated as the College of Arts and Sciences Scholar, the Biology Departmental Scholar and an Honors College Scholar.
Kianor will begin medical studies in Fall 2001 at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. He will study four years in the predoctoral program, housed in Alton, which leads to a doctorate of dental medicine. After earning the DMD, he will serve a four-year clinical residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, which will award a medical doctorate as a general practitioner and a doctorate in oral surgery.
"Science can only improve through research and scholarship. During my dental and medical training, I want to work with specific cancer-related research projects as opportunities allow," he said.
As an undergraduate, Kianor received an Honors College grant for his major thesis work which involved tackling a decade-long debated topic about what is ancestral to New World and Old World monkeys. The grant allowed him to travel to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History to collect data and take measurements on small primates. He presented his research findings at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists' annual conference, and his research abstract was published in the Spring 2000 American Journal of Physical Anthropology. He also was part of a chemistry research project which resulted in a professional conference presentation and publication of an article in the Chemical Journal of Education.
To learn more about his chosen field of medicine, Kianor observed and assisted with day-to-day activities at Western's Beu Health Center and at McDonough District Hospital (MDH) regularly the past two years on a volunteer basis. Last summer alone he clocked 360 hours during three volunteer internships at MDH, where he learned about nursing, pediatrics, surgery, osteopathics and various laboratory departments.
As an undergraduate he was active in 12 student groups and organizations, serving many as an executive board member. And, "to gain knowledge of other fields than science alone," Kianor worked with WIU's Office of Public Safety the past two summers on security and parking for the St. Louis Rams Training Camp and was a student worker in the University business office.
Since coming to WIU from Frankfort, Germany, where he was named his high school valedictorian in 1996 at the age of 16, Kianor has found a home in Macomb. He plans to return to Macomb and setup his medical practice.
Kianor is the second WIU alumnus to be recognized in the USA Today All-Academic competition. Alumnus Matthew Bills, who served as Western's Student Government Association president, was named to the 1999 All-USA Today College Academic Second Team.