Saira Atif

Saira Atif

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I am a foreign dentist, a former lecturer and a mother of three beautiful kids. After finishing my dental degree and residency in 2005, I started teaching Embryology and Neuroanatomy in Pakistan. I spent four years teaching before coming to Canada in 2013. Saskatoon, SK was my first home in Canada, where I worked in retail. After moving to Brandon in June 2015, I decided to pursue a degree that could nourish my soul. I registered as a second-degree student. Currently, I am in my 4th semester, and will finish my degree in couple of months. After my Bachelor of Science, I am planning on obtaining my B.Ed. from Brandon University, so I can teach Biology to high school students.

What education have you taken?

I have an international Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree, and now obtaining a Bachelor of Science from Brandon University, majoring in Biology. Additionally, I plan on receiving an Education Degree by next year.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of continuing my education and learning in a different culture and environment. I am also proud of my family who supported me throughout in this journey.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

My previous experience of teaching dental students was incomparable, which inspired me to choose a profession that I find joyous. Teaching is an occupation requiring me to broaden my knowledge further, and learning new concepts every day, which is why, my goal is to be qualified to teach in Canada.

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life is that you are never too old to learn and educate yourself.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

As I peer into the future, I see myself teaching Biology and other sciences in the Brandon School Division and receiving a Master’s in next few years. As a more long-term goal, I plan to eventually get a PhD.

In one sentence, how will you #BreakTheBias?

I will #BreakTheBias by progressing in life and overachieving my set goals, regardless of stereotypes, sexism, and society in general.

Nominator’s Comments:

It is my immense pleasure to nominate Dr. Saira Atif, a foreign dentist, a former lecturer, and a mother. I’ve known Saira since 2017, as an active member of our community, who gave us a warm welcome and is always ready to help anyone in her neighborhood. What amazed me about Saira is her journey which is an inspiring tale of struggle and winning like a star. Siara was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She was the eldest of three children to her parents, who raised her with the highest values and always prioritized her education. Being from a very conservative society, her father inspired Saira to continue higher studies. In Pakistan, after completion of high school, Saira did excellent in her dentistry exam and started her Bachelor of Dentistry at the most prestigious institute Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan. During the final year of Dentistry, Saira got married and she completed Dentistry during her maternity leave. She finished Dentistry and gave birth to two more children and continued her practice. This shows her ambition and determination. She then took a Lecturer position in a dental school and found her new passion. After serving four years as a lecturer, she and her family moved to Saskatoon, SK in 2013 before moving to Brandon in 2015. Throughout this journey her husband supported her and next, Saira decided to pursue a degree that could nourish her soul. She registered for second degree a BSc in Biology in 2021 at Brandon University. This is the time I had Saira as a student in my first-year Biology class. In my courses, Saira made a signature and her efforts showed off. Siara participated from day one and contributed significantly during the discussion. She is now in another fourth-year course with me. This is the course for senior students, requires advanced knowledge and Saira is again hitting the top 2% of students with her participation and contribution during class debates and case studies. During Covid19 Pandemic with online lectures, a student like Saira is an asset to the instructor. I can see a passion in Saira to learn and grow, which will take her a long way. Saira’s leadership qualities are also amazing. In any group activities, she plays the major role of managing the group, works on weaknesses like a true leader. At BU, Saira is a student leader and the elected science senator. In addition to her BU community, she serves the Brandon community actively by helping immigrants in need to get shelter in Brandon. I have seen her raising funds to help women in shelters and helping them to get a ground in Brandon in all possible ways. Saira is an asset to our community. The support of her family and her hard work and sincerity will give her the position she deserves. Saira wants to be a teacher in Canada, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavor.