Diana Naderi ’10 (Cell and Molecular Biology) fell in love with medicine at the age of 17, when she started volunteering in a local emergency department.
“The more I have been involved, the more I have been like, ‘Wow, that is what I want to do,'” she said.
Naderi can still recall the dedication she put into her classwork at California State University, Northridge, in addition to time spent in the hospital, research lab and on-campus organizations. With the goal of attending medical school after graduation, she knew she needed to maintain this balance while keeping up a competitive GPA.
“CSUN was the best educational experience of my life,” Naderi said. “It was the most socioeconomically and ethnically diverse group of students I have ever worked with. I was fortunate enough that with scholarships, loans and the support of my parents, I was able to get through college without having to work. This allowed me to engage in student life while also maintaining a high GPA.”
Naderi was a founding member of CSUN’s co-ed medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, which was officially installed in 2007. She served several years as social chair, recruitment chair and vice president of programming for Phi Delta Epsilon. She was also involved in many extracurricular activities at CSUN, including the Iranian Student Association, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club, the Forensics team — a speech and debate club — and University Ambassadors. CSUN honored her with one of four annual Outstanding Graduating Senior awards, and as the outstanding graduating senior of the Department of Biology.
After graduating from CSUN summa cum laude, Naderi attended Chicago Medical School, completing her M.D. in 2014. She completed her residency in family medicine at Northridge Hospital in 2017, where she was one of the chief residents. She currently practices family medicine in Northridge.
Now, Naderi wants to give back to students who want to follow the same path.
Naderi’s ties to her alma mater are still strong. She has been a graduate advisor for Phi Delta Epsilon since 2014, and she gives presentations on how to get into medical school. In addition, students often reach out to her for advice.
“I was talking to a CSUN student who was telling me what a financial burden it is to apply for medical school. I know that is a fact,” Naderi said. “The primary application alone costs $1,000.”
Through The CSUN Foundation, Naderi created the Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-Medical Student Scholarship Fund, which will provide annual scholarship awards to students who are members of the fraternity and have served as committee chairs or on the executive board.
Naderi said she is proud that her career allows her to create a scholarship to support future physicians.
“I just hope that it offloads the financial burden that they have, especially when they are applying for medical school,” she said.
For more information about Phi Delta Epsilon, please visit https://www.csun.edu/phide/about/
To apply for the scholarship, please visit https://csun.academicworks.com/opportunities/894 . To donate to the scholarship fund or for more information, contact Jerry De Felice, director of development, at (818) 677-3935 or firstname.lastname@example.org .