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Alan Shahtaji

Alan Shahtaji

San Diego physician | U.S. Soccer Federation | Class of 2002

When the unthinkable happened 836 miles away that morning, Alan Shahtaji was on his way to class, just like every other Tuesday at 8 in the fall of 2001.

Only this Tuesday morning was like none other — before or since.

It was “a time before cell phones and constant awareness of world events,” says Shahtaji (BS ’02, kinesiology), who now goes by Dr. Shahtaji and serves as a faculty physician at the UC San Diego Health System and team physician for the U.S. Soccer Federation.

“I showed up to a morning kinesiology class on September 11th. As I got seated next to my buddy, Matt Walpole, Dr. (Steven) Petruzzello somberly greeted the class.

“With tears in his eyes, he informed us something terrible had happened and that there would be no class today. Matt and I went back to our Beta Theta Pi fraternity and watched the news unfold with our fraternity brothers. It was one of those days and moments I will never forget.

“For some reason, Dr. Petruzzello’s genuine concern and grace has stuck with me all these years. I’m glad to see he is still on faculty.”