Helping Solve Social Problems

Studying chemical dependency, California native finds you can make a difference in every community.

Newzaira Khan wants to change the world for the better.

As a psychology student at UND, Khan is learning first-hand how she can help those in need. Along with an internship where she leads individual and group counseling sessions, she is on the fast track to helping people make changes in their lives.

"I learned from UND that with drive and motivation, anything is really possible," she said. "You can find yourself."

Newzaira talking with group

Newzaira Khan is helping people deal with their substance abuse issues and find a path to sobriety.

When she arrived on campus, Khan thought she was going into pre-med. But after taking a few classes down that track, she found out it wasn't for her. She then focused her studies on psychology and fell in love.

"Psychology is very different," Khan said. "It has an emphasis in biology. It has an emphasis in emotions. And I really liked how you could learn more about behaviors and more about people and the diversity that comes from people."

Now studying psychology, with an emphasis in chemical dependency, Khan is helping people deal with their substance abuse issues and find a path to sobriety. These real-world experiences while still in college has helped her hone her craft and become the best psychologist she can be.

"It's different when you're reading about it and then when you're working with people who have chemical dependencies," Khan said. "You're hands on. You're learning about what their background is, if they have mental health histories, if they have physical health problems, if they have spiritual deficiencies. You're learning about what makes them whole as a human being."


Khan, a Riverside, Calif., native, said her experiences both in California and North Dakota will help her in her future career. She hopes to work as a counselor in a community that has issues of substance abuse and poverty. There, she said, she can make the largest impact.

"UND helped me grow and learn different approaches in life," she said. "Coming from a big city, I was exposed to different things living in a city life, and then I was exposed to different things living in Grand Forks. I took this experience as a way of knowing that everything is adaptable and that you can grow anywhere you go."