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Biology and Society Graduate Begins Her PhD Journey

photo of Dina with the Student Spotlight logo

Dina Lienhard (Ziganshina) is a new PhD student at the Center for Biology and Society. She was admitted for the Summer 2018 semester into the Biology and Society PhD program. Dina is on the Bioethics, Policy, and Law track of the program and hopes to research the history and the discrepancies between easily accessible and understandable healthcare information (from non-scholarly sources) versus evidence-based healthcare information (from credible scholarly sources) that may be harder to access and understand. 

Dina is originally from Kazan, Russia. As she was growing up, she had the privilege to travel and study in Liverpool, United Kingdom, Geneva, Switzerland, and Amsterdam, Netherlands and watch her parents work in academia and healthcare research. Dina was always keen on reading, learning new things, and community service. She learned English at a young age and has a basic understanding of French and Dutch. Dina also speaks Russian and Tatar as her native languages.

Dina first came to the United States in the fall of 2012 as a Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Scholar to attend an American high school for one academic year. To Dina, it was an incredible honor to participate in FLEX, as only one in fifty applicants gets selected for that opportunity. Dina was placed in Surprise, Arizona and immediately fell in love with the weather, the scenery, and the people of this sunny state. At the end of her academic year in the US, Dina was awarded the Certificate of Graduation and spoke as the Honorary Valedictorian at the Imagine Prep High School at Surprise graduation ceremony.

Dina returned to the US in August of 2014 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences at Arizona State University. She taught BIO181/182 (General Biology) and CHM237/238 (General Organic Chemistry) labs at the ASU Downtown Campus as an Instructional Aide between Fall 2015 and Spring 2018. She also volunteered weekly at St. Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix and translated plain language summaries of systematic reviews for the Cochrane Library. At that time, she learned how important it was for the public to have easy access to reliable and understandable healthcare information.

At the beginning of her junior year, Dina discovered the Embryo Project Writing Seminar, where she was fortunate to meet Dr. Jane Maienschein. Dina wrote a total of 9 encyclopedia articles that are currently published in the Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Some of those articles focus on mammography guidelines in the US, which ultimately became Dina’s Honors Thesis topic that she researched and defended with the guidance and supervision of Dr. Maienschein. Dina presented her thesis research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Austin, Texas in February 2018. For that trip Dina received the Susan and Mark Mulzet National Travel Award as well as the AAAS Section L funding. Dina also received the Moeur Award for academic excellence upon graduating from ASU with her Bachelor of Science degree. In March 2018, Dina got married to Klaus Lienhard, who she met back in 2012 at Imagine Prep.

Now that Dina started the PhD program, she is incredibly excited to learn more about history and philosophy of science, public and global health, as well as graduate life in general!

For more information, please contact Dina Lienhard (Ziganshina) at