Featured Students: Azam Qureshi & Kimberly Hilson


Meet Azam Qureshi and Kimberly Hilson, freshmen at Johns Hopkins University.

Presented by Sherryl A. Fletcher, Senior Associate Director of Admissions

 When I reflect on my roles as both an admissions professional and a parent, I delight in the opportunities I have to watch children mature into exceptional young adults. I have hopes, along with their parents, that all students will find the college environments that support their unique gifts and terrific personalities. When these students are also classmates of my own child, the hopes are even more meaningful, and more personal. I would like to introduce two fabulously talented students from McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland: Kimmy Hilsen and Azam Qureshi. Kimmy and Azam are freshmen at Johns Hopkins University and classmates of my son, Cameron, also a 2010 graduate of McDonogh School. Kimmy and Azam have started their Johns Hopkins experience with energy, purpose, and unique talents, and I am super proud of each of them. As local Baltimore-area students, they will tell you about their first semesters on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. In just four months, they are already beginning to leave their footprints here.

Meet: Azam Qureshi

Why did you select Johns Hopkins as your college choice?

I chose Johns Hopkins primarily because of its close proximity to my home in Baltimore County, Maryland; my love of the campus; and its renowned reputation. I love being able to go home every few weeks or have my parents visit me. Also, the campus reminds me of the campus of my primary school and almost makes me forget about its urban location. Both of these factors contributed to making the transition to college smoother for me since I had gone to the same school for 13 years before arriving to Hopkins.

What Johns Hopkins experience has been the most exciting for you?

The most exciting part of my Hopkins experience so far was orientation. It was everyone’s first experience at college and I was able to meet so many people and bond with those inside and outside of my building through various orientation events like the trip to the Orioles game and the stand-up comedy show in Shriver auditorium. I only wish it could have been longer.

With friends at the Baltimore Washington Monument

What is your favorite on campus event so far?

My favorite on campus event so far was the Lupe Fiasco concert in the Rec Center.

Who is your favorite new friend or new teacher?

I have so many favorite new friends and I would not be able to name just one. Hopkins offers so many opportunities for new freshmen to branch out and meet all different types of undergraduates through dorm life and extracurricular activities. I have been fortunate enough to meet amazing people in my dorm and through my involvement on campus from working in the Recreation Center, being on the Residential Advisory Board and in the Muslim Students Association, and playing intramural flag-football and basketball.

Hanging out in the dorms!

What will you do during Intersession?

During intersession, I plan on taking advantage of the variety of free courses Hopkins offers to students during this time. Since I wanted the opportunity to take something I normally wouldn’t during the regular school year, I signed up for The Art of the Pitch and Energy 101 in order to earn two credits while learning about marketing and the business of energy in the United States. Additionally, because my classes span five days and two days respectively, I may shadow a doctor and just enjoy the relaxation of not having five or six classes to juggle.

Meet: Kimberly Hilson

Why did you select Johns Hopkins as your college choice?

Happy Birthday Katie! Kimmy met Katie, Eva and Taylor through Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

I didn’t visit Hopkins until the summer before my senior year in high school. I visited three times before applying. Every time I visited, I felt such a great sense of community, which I loved, and I immediately felt at home. After my third visit, I knew Hopkins was where I wanted to be, so I applied under the Early Decision plan.

When I was searching for colleges, I knew that I wanted to attend a college where I would receive a top-notch education, play Division III field hockey, and stay close to home. I found all three qualities in Hopkins. At Hopkins, I know I will receive a world-class education. At Hopkins, I have the opportunity and privilege to play Division 3 field hockey. Only at Hopkins, can I receive a world-class education, play field hockey and stay close to home all at the same time.

What Johns Hopkins experience has been the most exciting for you?

I have loved all of the experiences that I have had at Hopkins so far, so it is hard to pick one as my favorite. However, one of my favorite parts of being at Hopkins has been living on campus in Wolman Hall. Being in the dorms allows me to be independent and make decisions for myself, which is really exciting.

What is your favorite on campus event so far?

So far, I have two favorite events: the Convocation before the first day of classes and the Lighting of the Quads. At the Convocation, the entire freshman class gathered on the quad behind Mason Hall and we were addressed by various faculty members, deans, and even some of our classmates. It was really cool to see our whole class gathered together underneath the huge tent. After the ceremony, there was a nice reception where we were able to mingle with other members of our class and meet new people. That was really cool. The Lighting of the Quads was equally exciting because I LOVE the holidays and seeing the campus all lit up was beautiful! It reminded me of being at home with all of the holiday lights, so I really enjoyed this evening.

Visiting Santa at the Towson Mall with Laila and Ladora

Who is your favorite new friend or new teacher?

I have made so many friends since I’ve arrived on campus. From my friends on the hockey team to my friends from just meeting people along the way and in various clubs, it’s hard to pick a favorite new friend. However, I have to say that the friends that I have made through the BSU (Black Student Union) have become my best friends so far. I love having friends to go to breakfast, lunch, or dinner with. Or to go to the library and have study sessions with. Making friends at Hopkins was so easy because everybody was so nice and open to meeting new people.

The freshmen and sophomores on the field hockey team!

My favorite teacher…hmm…well, my favorite course this past semester was Introduction to Sociology, which was co-taught by Professor Andrew Cherlin and Professor Pamela Bennett. Both are extremely passionate about their fields and are always available to talk. I have talked to both Professor Cherlin and Professor Bennett outside of the classroom, which is really great.

What will you do during Intersession?

During Intersession this year, I will be taking two classes. The first class I am taking, The Practice of Law, lasts two weeks. I’m really excited about that class because I am considering attending law school after graduation. The second class I am taking is called B’More: Urban Schools Today, where we are going to study the state of urban schools, and we’ll even get to visit a local public school in Baltimore, which I’m really looking forward to.

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