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Creating a Support Group, with Nabila Hijazi ‘20

Creating a Support Group, with Nabila Hijazi ‘20

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By Spencer Friedman

This class of 2020 alumna did not take a direct path in earning multiple degrees. She went on to earn a Ph.D. while prioritizing her family life. 

Why UMD?

Nabila Hijazi ‘20 came to the United States from Syria in 1989. She initially attended Prince George’s Community College and graduated with an Associate degree. She took a seven-year gap between studies to raise her children. Hijazi came to UMD in 2003 and graduated with degrees in accounting and English in 2005. She went on to complete a masters program in three years, while teaching classes at UMD. In 2014, she started a Ph.D. program in English and graduated and defended her dissertation in May 2020.

Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests since graduation?

Hijazi is part of a book club that reads mostly creative fiction, but sometimes also nonfiction literature. She said the book club relates to her research interest: Muslim women and refugee men.

Where do you currently work, and what’s your job title?

Hijazi currently works as a lecturer at the University of Maryland, but only teaches semester-by-semester when there are extra classes. She says she is currently on the job market and wants to become an assistant professor at a 4-year institution. She is also looking for research opportunities, but is geographically restricted to the DMV area because of her family.

What’s your advice for current and recently graduated terps?

“Seek help and advice from mentors or create a support group among graduating students to help navigate your post-graduate life,” Hijazi says, adding, “People from the same discipline are great. For me, my group and I practiced mock interviews and mock dissertation defense.”



This 20-part series highlights successful University of Maryland alumni from the Class of 2020. Are you a Class of 2020 graduate? Reach out to Jessica Lee ( to learn more about getting involved with your Alumni Association. The Alumni Blog connects you with the latest at UMD. Check out articles on advancing your personal and professional goals, elevating your UMD pride, and celebrating Terp traditions, legacies and accomplishments. For even more content, follow the Alumni Association on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.