When Shahrukh Naseer moved to St. Louis in sixth grade from Bettendorf, Iowa, he had never heard of Mizzou before. But after listening to his friends talk about Mizzou football during lunch, he knew attending the university was something he wanted to experience. Six years later, he applied to Mizzou to further his education and stay close to home. Naseer has never looked back.
“Mizzou has opened so many doors to me both academically and socially,” Naseer said. “I have gained confidence through public speaking, learned valuable service skills and had several leadership opportunities.”
Naseer, who is studying biological sciences at Mizzou and will graduate in May, has been involved in several different organizations on campus, such as STRIPES and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, but his true calling was in Tiger’s Lair, the official student section at Mizzou football games.
“To be in the front row for Tiger’s Lair, you have to show up to Faurot Field upward of six hours before kickoff, and in some cases you have to sleep out in a tent,” Naseer said. “For every single game, my partner and I would show up early to be in the front row and have our chests painted in Black and Gold to cheer on Mizzou.”
During his junior year, Naseer was selected to be a coordinator on the Tiger’s Lair leadership team. His duties involved assisting fans and maintaining a safe environment for members in attendance. The following year, Naseer was tapped as the spirit chair where he enthusiastically led the crowd in chants, songs, cheers and dances.
“From then on I became ‘the Tiger’s Lair guy’ to countless strangers who recognized me at all the games,” Naseer said. “I had the time of my life doing something I loved and although the season was full of ups and downs, I am glad to pass this opportunity on to the future leaders of Tiger’s Lair.”
In addition to extracurricular organizations, Naseer has taken advantage of academic opportunities as well. Becoming involved in several research opportunities has given him direct, hands-on learning experiences. At a biology lab focused on cancer research in the medical school, Naseer was part of a team studying radiation therapy techniques to treat cancer. In a nutrition and exercise physiology lab, Naseer was able to study the effects of physical activity on the math skills of preschoolers. Currently, he is studying trends in childhood obesity.
“So many opportunities are available to students to discover their passions,” Naseer said. “Get out there and explore what Mizzou has to offer because you never know what you might fall in love with.”