Neda Movahed



The Iran Cultural and Educational Center (ICEC) has played a vital role in my personal and professional development. I attended ICEC as a student for eleven years, was an assistant teacher for First Grade for four years, and most recently finished four years as a Persian Dance Troupe (PDT) instructor.  ICEC has helped strengthen my understanding of my Iranian culture and identity. I have always been proud of my Iranian heritage, but ICEC has allowed me to develop fluency in reading and writing Persian while growing up in the United States. ICEC has also supported my passion for dancing by providing me the space to first grow myself as a dance student over the years and then become a teacher, choreographing dances for the Nowruz performances. This role as a PDT teacher has given me important leadership skills and the confidence I need as I continue my educational career.

In part due to my extensive experience speaking in front of large audiences while introducing PDT dances at ICEC Nowruz events, I was selected to be the graduation speaker for my department’s graduation ceremony this May of 2014. I recently received my Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Politics and Policy. Additionally, I received Minors in both International Development & Conflict Management and Global Poverty. Throughout the course of my Undergraduate studies, I had many different internships ranging from the local government at the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection to work for an environmental human rights nonprofit at Amazon Watch. In addition, I have volunteered to help protect our local environment through participation in stream cleanups and the UMD Apiary. This upcoming August, I will be starting a Master of Arts program in Sustainability at Arizona State University. I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and experience in environmental issues back to ICEC in the future.