Shaharia Ferdus is originally from Bangladesh but grew up in Meriden, CT where she graduated from Orville H. Platt High School. She loves to get to know different languages, cultures, and communities. She watches videos on Japanese history, follows Korean dramas, and updates her Italian music playlist on Spotify. As a future healthcare professional she feels it’s important to be able to understand many languages. This international flavor is apparent in her health care background. Her early volunteer work at Midstate Medical Center presented a stark contrast to the healthcare services she experienced in Bangladesh, and since that time her focus has been on underserved populations. This summer, she traveled with Huskies for Haiti, and volunteered at rural and local clinics, taking vital signs, supplying patients with medicine, and supporting the staff. She also volunteered at a Migrant Farm Worker clinic, providing care for Jamaican migrant workers in Connecticut. For the remainder of the summer, she worked in a nutritional sciences laboratory as part of the Bridging the Gap program, primarily investigating the effect of gut-derived bacterial lipids on liver health and the possible relationship to atherosclerosis. She will continue this research throughout the year as part of her Honors thesis.