Mitra Esfandiarei

Age 56

My favorite things about being an educated and independent woman over the age of 40 is being aware of who I am and what I want to make of my life experience and being very clear and determined about what I want to leave behind as my legacy. It is also so liberating to be free of insecurities and self-doubt after going through ups and downs of the journey of life.

I am living my most extraordinary life right now by contributing to the betterment of lives of my students, being a good friend and colleague to my peers, and trying my best to be a role model for so many young immigrant women who are coming from different backgrounds and have to face many challenges that I had to overcome to become a successful professional woman in higher education.

In the next decade, I aspire to continue to be the best version of who I can be by constantly learning, reading, writing, and sharing. I also want to continue my contributions towards educating, training, and empowering the next generation of young women in science and medicine, particularly those from minority and underserved communities.

When I saw my portraits for the first time, I felt excited, cheerful, and happy. It was like looking at myself under a different light. I saw qualities in those portraits that I did not know I owned. The photoshoot showed a liberated version of me that I was not aware of before.