For Khizer Husain, there was no place like Allen Hall.
“Home at UI was always my beloved dorm,” says the former honors biology major, now director of external relations at Two Rivers Public Charter School of Washington, D.C.
Allen Hall “was an incredible living-learning fusion environment. We had a breathtaking diversity of experiences packed in that place — amazing guests-in-residence, including business leaders, artists and activists. We had a French-themed specialty bistro one night per week that took dorm dining to a Zagat-level.
“I took calculus on-site — such a blessing — and piano lessons in the sound-proof music rooms in the basement. That Allen Hall ecosystem was magical.”
Husain’s pick for most influential person is also a no-brainer.
“Bobby Mawane from the University YMCA afforded me the opportunity of a lifetime when he nominated me to represent the organization in an internship at a sister site in East Jerusalem,” he says. “Bobby saw potential in me that I did not see in myself — to land in a new environment and build an understanding of how the two organizations could work better together.
“Without that experience, I would not have pursued a career in international development.”