Yara Salti

After graduation, Yara plans to attend medical school and eventually work as a physician. When she isn’t studying, Yara enjoys taking spin classes and spending time with friends.

Get to know Yara

  • Major: Kinesiology and health, pre-health professions option
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Ames, Iowa (Story County)
  • Career goal: Physician
  • Clubs/activities: Honors Program, Pre-Medical Club, Kinesiology Freshmen Learning Community, CHS Ambassador, undergraduate research assistant in Neurophysiology Lab
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s list
  • Favorite place on campus: Forker Building
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Elizabeth Stegemöller
  • Favorite class: BIOL 255, Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 
  • Why Iowa State: Kinesiology program and endless opportunities  

Yara Salti works as a peer mentor, desires to improve people’s lives

In high school, Yara Salti sustained a bad knee injury leaving her unable to walk. A few days later, she went into surgery for 30 minutes and was able to walk out of the hospital that day. This experience is one of many that has inspired Yara to pursue a career in healthcare. 

“My surgeon went in for 30 minutes to fix [my knee], and I was able to walk again,” Yara said. “I think it’s crazy that a tiny thing a doctor does in their day can change someone’s life for the better.” 

As a junior studying kinesiology and health, Yara has set herself up for success through her involvement at Iowa State. 

Working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Neurophysiology Lab has proved to be a very beneficial experience for her career preparation. Headed by Elizabeth Stegemöller, associate professor in kinesiology, this lab focuses on the neurophysiology of behaviors among individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

“[The Neurophysiology Lab] has taught me a lot,” Yara said. “It opened my eyes to the world of research.” 

Yara also works as a peer mentor for the Kinesiology Freshmen Learning Community. Greatly impacted by her own peer mentor, she wanted to become that go-to person to other students as they navigate their first year of college. 

“I really liked how [my peer mentor] was always there to help and someone I could relate to. I went to her for advice,” Yara said. “I decided to apply to be [a peer mentor] my sophomore year, and I got it!” 

Peer mentoring allowed Yara to meet new freshmen and also provided her a sense of community within her major. 

“It was a good opportunity to get to know the younger kinesiology students and help guide them and answer their questions,” Yara said. “I also got to know a lot of my other fellow peer mentors that were my age or older. You make more friends within your major and just get to know more people.”

After graduation, Yara plans to attend medical school. With a deep desire to improve the lives of others, she hopes to one day work as a physician. 

“I will always appreciate [the physicians] who have helped me out,” Yara said. “I think they can play a big part in people’s lives and change lives for the best.”

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