Spotlight Spotlighting a UH Woman Each Month

laila       Laila Khalili


What is your major and year?

I am pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy.

Why did you choose UH as your university?

I chose the University of Houston accidentally, to be honest! I was a student at Baylor University studying Music, and could not afford tuition for a second year. I enrolled in classes at UH as a sophomore. The Moores School of Music was so accommodating and helpful during the transfer, and as any transfer student can tell you, it is not an easy process. I'm incredibly happy that I ended up at UH because my life changed entirely, and for the better.

What have you enjoyed about your university experiences?

Coming to UH gave me the opportunity to discover new academic interests and study with some amazing professors in various departments. College is a transformative experience, and I believe that the university's environment empowered me to explore my interests with the stability I needed to make changes in my academic career. The most rewarding experiences I've had here were a result of being in Houston and having all the resources and opportunities Houston has to offer right at my fingertips.  

What extracurricular activities have you been involved with?

When I first switched majors I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do and what I was passionate about. I attended a few Student Feminist Organization meetings my second year here and I couldn't get enough. I absolutely love the organization, and it has provided me with many lasting friendships and opportunities to get involved at UH and in Houston. Through SFO I became a member of the Texas Freedom Network student chapter, and I am now president of both organizations. In addition to campus groups, I have spent time volunteering at Memorial Hermann Hospital, volunteering on the Wendy Davis for Governor campaign, and raising money for the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. I love to be in engaged with my community in any way I can and advocate for the issues I'm passionate about at the same time. 

What advice do you have for new students?

Don't be afraid of risks or change. Whether it's changing degrees or schools, studying abroad, getting an internship in another field, or something relationship related, take each day as it comes and make the best of what you have. You never know what is in store or what lies ahead. New opportunities will always present themselves and you have be in the right state of mind to jump on those opportunities when they arise!

What are your hobbies and interests?

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, whether it's an autobiography, science fiction, non-fiction, or a novel. I enjoy hiking and camping, or anything that allows me to be closer to the wilderness. I'm passionate about social justice and international affairs, so I spend a great deal of time reading about what's happening in other communities around the world.