Mom, triplets excel at MTSU; fishing nets program $70K

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MTSU student wins ATHENA scholarship

Khadijah Alnassari of Nashville, Tennessee, received a $3,000 Rutherford ATHENA scholarship from Rutherford Cable this year.

Holding the certificate she received after being recognized for earning the Rutherford ATHENA Scholarship, Khadijah Alnassari is shown with family members, including, clockwise, her son Ahmed, 15, her sister-in-law Salwi Alrubaye , her daughters Fatima and Zaynab, both 15, and her daughter Zahara.  , 8, and her son Muhammad Ali Alnassari, 5. The Rutherford County organization awarded the $3,000 scholarship to Khadijah Alnassari on Friday, April 29, during its annual awards luncheon at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Murfreesboro .

The organization also presented the ATHENA Award to the Rev. Martha Toucton of Murfreesboro and the ATHENA Award for Young Professional Leadership to Robin Seay of Murfreesboro. With 250 members, Rutherford Cable is a 10-year leadership organization for the career advancement of women.

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A double major in biology and sociology, Alnassari plans to use the scholarship to pay for tuition.

“As an avid advocate for women’s rights and inclusion, I was amazed to see how many women came together to support and encourage each other,” said Alnassari, 39, who enrolled at MTSU as a freshman 21 years ago.

A few weeks after first enrolling, the events, known collectively as “September 11,” caused her to suspend her education following widespread Islamophobia – aversion or prejudice against Islam or Muslims.

Kim Collins, left, executive assistant at the MTSU Career Development Center, left, collects Muslim clothing items requested by the Alnassari family: daughters, Zaynab and Fatima, mom Khadijah, and son Ahmed.  The triplets, 14, are dual-enrollment freshmen and biology majors seeking a pre-med path.

In the fall of 2020, with the nation in the midst of the pandemic, he re-enrolled at MTSU, and the 14-year-old triplets (son Ahmed and daughters Fatimah and Zaynab) began a dual-enrollment pre-med path and they joined her on the journey. The triplets, now 15 and about to graduate from Metro Nashville Public School’s Virtual School, will have enough credits to be juniors this fall.

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Alnassari has also been dedicated to the outreach, education, and inclusion of Muslims at MTSU and their children. She received the Student Organization President of the Year award at MTSU. All four won the National Women’s History Month Trailblazer Award for their work in diversity and inclusion on campus.