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Name:
Naseem Kassim
Photo:
Academic Field:
Home Economics
Years at RTC:
1961 to 1964
Town of origin:
Mbale, Uganda
Recent Residence:
Phoenix, Arizona
Life after RTC:
After completing the Teacher?s Training Program for Home Economics at RTC, I was awarded the British Government Scholarship to pursue Dietetics in the United Kingdom. I studied first in Glasgow and then completed my internship at Middlesex Hospital on Mortimer Street in London. This teaching hospital and medical school closed in 2005 after merging with University College London Hospitals NHS. During my stay in the UK, I traveled to Europe and Egypt and it was one of the best times of my life! I ended up meeting and making lifetime friends.

I returned to Uganda in mid-1966 with hopes of fulfilling my obligation to work at Mulago Hospital but since they did not have the funding to complete the work, there was no immediate opening for me. I returned to Mbale and took up teaching Home Economics at the Government Secondary School and taught there until 1967 when I married Mansur Kassim.

Mansur and I moved to Minnesota in the United States where he was completing his studies. I taught at Rockford High School, north of the twin cities of Minneapolis?St. Paul. I later joined the University of Minnesota?s Nutrition Coordinating Center which was initiated in 1974 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to support the food coding and nutrient analysis needs of two historically significant national collaborative research programs ? the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) and the Lipid Research Clinics (LRC). After these government-funded trials ended, I continued to work for a couple of years at the University of Minnesota?s Heart Disease Prevention Clinic as part of Dr. Donald Hunninghake?s clinical trial team that was testing the efficacy of cholesterol lowering drugs, including the famous statins.

Eventually, I decided to devote my time to our two growing children, a daughter born in 1971, and a son born five years later. While the kids were in school, I helped Mansur in his Insurance and Investment brokerage business but after school I enjoyed valuable time with the children, including chauffeuring them to their various after-school activities and being with them during their school breaks.

When our daughter got married, I noticed the lack of a decent boutique for fashionable Indian clothing in Minneapolis. This led me to venture into the world of small business. For 10 years, NK Designs afforded me the opportunity to run my own small business and gain valuable business knowledge. Best of all, I had the pleasure of making frequent buying trips to India, a country I dearly love.

In 2003, Mansur and I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where I continued to support him in his insurance business and help him transition towards retirement. For the past 3 years, I have been involved in a new business venture which was started by me and my two brothers, Amin and Faruk. The business involves co-packing and e-commerce order fulfillment.

I have assured everyone that I will ?retire? this year to spend more time with family, especially my two beautiful granddaughters!

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