Persia Ghotbi-Taheri was in high school when she watched the Clemson Tigers defeat Alabama in the 2017 National Championship game. Around the same time, an upperclassman friend was admitted to Clemson as a student.
The coinciding events seemed like a sign, so she did some research and signed up for a tour.
“Once I set foot on campus, I just knew it was the perfect place for me,” she said.
Persia, now an industrial engineering major at Clemson, is making the most of her time on campus by supporting her peers.
She is serving a year as president of the Clemson chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). One of her accomplishments is securing funding that will allow her and nine other students to attend the NSBE national convention in Anaheim, California over spring break.
Persia also serves as a supervisor and outreach coordinator in the Cook Engineering Laboratory machine shop, where she helps students become certified to use machinery, such as a drill press and belt sander. Students can then use those skills to work on class or personal projects.
Persia has also been active in PEER & WISE, a program that recruits and retains underrepresented students. She sends NSBE students to PEER & WISE and regularly visits the program’s office, where students often go to study and find friends. It’s a safe space where underrepresented students can find peers who look like them and have had similar experiences.
“Those small details, those small moments actually make the biggest difference,” she said.
Persia is on track to graduate in spring 2023.
“One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to any student is to not wait for opportunities to come to you but to take those risks and come out of your comfort zone and take advantage of those opportunities,” she said.
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