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GSP Alumnx Spotlight: Tanya F. Zora

Name: Tanya Farid Zora
Hometown: Southfield, Michigan
Current City: Los Angeles, California
Graduation Year: 2011

Former GSP RA: 2010-2011

Short Bio:  On December 17, 1988, I was born in Baghdad, Iraq to a family of Chaldean, mixed with Indian, Catholic/Christian (non-practicing) and Communist Iraqis. As ethnic, religious and political minorities, we escaped Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party in 1993, when we moved to Detroit, Michigan.  In a matter of a year and a half, my family moved to Southfield, a suburb of Detroit, where I attended public schools, and graduated in 2007 from Southfield High School.

While at the University of Michigan, I was active with many programs and organizations, including but not limited to, the Global Scholars Program, Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated, Summer Bridge 2007, and University Housing/Residence Staff.  Currently, I am the Media Coordinator, Marketing – Media Planning for CBS Television Network and began as a CBS Page, Guest Relations in November of 2011.

How would you describe the significance of the Global Scholars Program?

Jennifer Yim always said, “Conflict is good, we like conflict!”  Within the community, one will be faced with varies forms of conflict, from intercultural friction to ideological debates, helping to broaden and challenge one’s previous notions of global and local perspectives.  

Conflict is the foundation though which true integrity is built; it creates defining moments that shed light to the ultimate character of a man or woman.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

What was the hardest part of transitioning out of college life?

Leaving home.  Graduation was especially difficult because I was saying farewell to both my family and extended UM Fam; nothing really prepares you for that. You leave the comfort, safety and love of home to venture then conquer the perilous world.

What made this transition easier?

My Sorority Sisters in Los Angeles, and my family in San Diego, welcomed me with open arms when I first arrived; they gave me all the support I needed during my transition into the real world.  

The promise of international reunions with my UM Fam - Although I am not with my Fam, they are always in my heart.  Those in my circle are working just as hard towards self and world improvement.

Finally, the real ability to focus my work and efforts towards achieving lifelong goals and dreams make the transition easier.  I am so thankful for all the opportunities I was, and still am, allotted.

Favorite GSP memory?

The best memories are off the record! :) Next question…

What is the one lesson you learned the hard way?

The nature of duality.  Human nature proves, time and time again that, when in the face of adversity, power, or circumstance, individuals choose to either do good, or do evil.  Some people choose to create dissonance – these are the individuals we must not fear to face head on.  Even if the evil is seemingly miniscule, it is important to never remain silent.

What do you aspire for in 10 years?

Filmmaking is a collaborative art; my love affair started with the hope to create independent content that tells the stories of so many underrepresented Americans.  Ideally, I aspire to become a senior level executive (VP, SVP, etc.) for CBS Corporation Marketing, Programing, or Corporate/Viacom to gain leverage within the industry while also creating independent films and shorts.

Most valuable lesson learned in the GSP community?

History is not made by those who are idle.  From guest lecturers, to current and past GSP community members, those who are passionate about moving the world forward are actively engaged and personify the changes she or she believes will make the global community a better place.

Advice for current GSP students

I’m sure that everyone says this, but, enjoy it while you can!  College was one the best experiences of my life - the best four years.  No matter the ups and downs, make it count!