Hassnaa Mohammed

My name is Hassnaa. I am a third year PhD student at the Design Studies department focusing on sacred and religious spaces in the United States. I grew up in a Muslim religious family in Cairo, Egypt and moved to the United States in 2011. With the Muslim community being extremely diverse in the United States, I struggled to find a community that matches my values and upbringing, especially on campus. Upon graduation, I found Islamic “third places,” a new type of religious organization that provides an informal social and educational atmosphere to support young American Muslims, to be closely aligned with my beliefs. Having experienced this atmosphere, I was inspired to go back to school and further study the effect of the physical space on people’s sense of belonging and mental wellbeing in religious spaces. I’m really excited about the CRGC’s Fellowship Program as I am hoping to understand more about other faiths, help support interfaith dialogues, and see some of the successful strategies implemented in third places on campus to enrich students’ lives and help build bridges across student groups.