BY Gabriella Herrera
As the granddaughter of Palestinian refugees, Zeena Khazendar is passionate about improving health access and outcomes for vulnerable people.
She is being honored for her efforts as a 2022 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. President Marc Tessier-Lavigne recommended her for the award, which honors student leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions for complex social and environmental challenges.
Khazendar is majoring in human biology with a concentration in design for global health and social impact. As a member of Stanford’s Biobehavioral Pediatric Pain Lab, she performs clinical research to investigate pediatric chronic pain. Her current research projects seek to understand the relationship between parents and their children with chronic pain, as well as chronic pain outcomes in children with a history of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Khazendar also serves as a director at SCOPE, a student-led organization within the nonprofit Be a Good Doctor. Through SCOPE, premedical students volunteer to assist medical staff and provide interpretation for patients at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a level-one trauma center. When the pandemic began, SCOPE leaders rapidly pivoted to provide Spanish and Vietnamese interpretation services virtually, rather than in person. Khazendar led the effort to provide virtual interpretation by raising money for iPads.