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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2003

IU Feature: Groups Program reaches out to students

EDITORS: This release was written by Erica Petty, an IUB journalism student from Muncie, Ind., who is interning this semester with the Office of Academic Support and Diversity. A publication-quality photograph of Samira Jeihooni is available for download at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Groups Program reaches out to students to help them pursue a college career. Samira Jeihooni, a junior at IU Bloomington, is one of those who took advantage of the opportunities offered by the Groups Program and is now on a path of academic success.

"The program has given me immense opportunities," said Jeihooni, of Fort Wayne, Ind. "It has given me the opportunity to afford school and opportunities for a lot of networking."

For example, through Roger Gildersleeve, a Groups Program adviser, Jeihooni successfully applied for the Woodrow Wilson leadership program that is sponsored by Princeton University. Jeihooni also has been inducted into the Groups Program honor society, Chi Alpha Epsilon. Groups has awarded Jeihooni a $3,000 scholarship each year since her sophomore year of college for maintaining a grade point average of 3.5 or above.

"Samira makes my job easy," Gildersleeve said, adding that she is academically on task. "She has always known what she wanted to do and comes to her advising appointments with current and future plans already made out. She is a great example to the Groups Program," he said.

Although Jeihooni is having academic success, it has not been without obstacles. A member of a Persian family with four siblings, she was born in Kerman, Iran, and moved to three different states before settling in Fort Wayne.

Jeihooni's foundation has been formed from a strong family life. One of her biggest obstacles was the death of her father last summer. She said it was her family and friends who helped her pull through.

She is the third of her siblings to go to college. Her two older sisters have paved the way for her. One is studying to be a nurse and the other is studying business finance. Jeihooni hopes to help her younger brother and sister in similar ways. Her mother also is a student.

The Groups Program gave Jeihooni the opportunity to get to know people, the IU Bloomington campus and her professors. She was one of four students to get a 4.0 grade point average during the Groups summer program. Three years later she maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.94. The program gave her a head start on a race that she is leading. She is a dedicated member of eight organizations, five of which are honor societies.

Jeihooni hopes to receive her bachelor's degree in health administration and then pursue a law degree and a master of health administration degree. During her undergraduate career, her goal is to maintain a high GPA, make the dean's list and participate in good-quality internships.

Jeihooni advises peers to focus in college and know what they want to do in life.

"It's all about education, she said. "Focus on priorities that will help your future."