Helen Yousaf ’24 Named 2024 Alumni Association “Outstanding Senior”

Helen Yousaf '24 at the Senior Send-Off

Helen Yousaf ’24, a May 2024 graduate of William Paterson University with a bachelor of science degree in medicinal biochemistry and a minor in public health, summa cum laude, was named the 2024 “Outstanding Senior” by the William Paterson University Alumni Association.

Presented annually since 1962, the “Outstanding Senior” award recognizes a graduating senior with strong involvement in extracurricular activities, service to the University and community, demonstrated leadership ability, and high academic standing. It is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. The award was announced at the Senior Send-Off celebration on May 17 where Domenico DiMaio ’97, MBA ’21, president of the Alumni Association, recognized all of the nominees and announced the recipient. 

A member of the University’s Honors College, Yousaf completed the Global Public Health Honors Track, for which she wrote Closed Captioning: Culturally Competent and Linguistically Competent Healthcare, in which she examined how patient-physician language concordance and cultural competency can improve global public health outcomes. Yousaf earned the National Collegiate Honors Council’s John J. Hanigan Scholarship, which recognizes honors students committed to serving their communities, and presented her research at its 2023 annual conference.

In addition to her Honors track research, Yousaf served as an undergraduate research assistant working with Professor Lilian Milanes, assistant professor of community and social justice studies, on a National Science Foundation grant-funded interdisciplinary research project focused on water quality and resources in the New Jersey-New York watershed. She also worked on research projects with Professor Corey Basch in the Department of Public Health and with faculty in the Department of Chemistry.

Yousaf was a peer leader for the Honors College, serving as a co-facilitator for sections of Will. Power. 101, the University’s program of academic and student support services for new students. She also served as an Honors College intern, providing support for numerous Honors College events such as Research Week. She played a key role in organizing Honors College civic engagement events, including “Slices of Service,” a multi-pronged civic engagement project in which students they reflected on the issue of food insecurity.

Other campus involvement included service as a student assistant in the Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center, and a student representative to the University’s Mission Statement working group. She also did private tutoring.

Yousaf, who received the Dean’s Award from the College of Science and Health, also received the Excellence in Chemistry Award, and was named to the Dean’s List every semester. An Honors College Scholarship recipient, Yousaf was awarded the Alumni Association Community Service Scholar Award in 2022 and 2023.

Following her graduation from William Paterson, Yousaf plans to pursue a graduate degree in public health and pursue a career working in humanitarian aid. She is a resident of Wayne.