Two graduates bring new meaning to legacy family

Students anchored and encouraged by families at home and at RIT


Zayneb Ghazle, second from right, graduates in the class of 2024. Her sisters, Batool, far left, and Zahra’a, middle, are also students at RIT. Their father, Hamad Ghazle ’88, right, is director of RIT’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.

RIT and family go hand in hand for at least two graduates in the class of 2024.

Zayneb Ghazle will graduate with a double major in diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound) and the physician assistant BS/MS program—the first person ever to complete the two rigorous programs. She is following in the footsteps of her father, Hamad Ghazle ’88 (diagnostic medical sonography), and paving the way for her sister, Zahra’a, who is a third-year ultrasound major. (Her youngest sister, Batool, will begin her first year at RIT this fall in the criminal justice program.)

Sarah Kleinberger is the fourth of her siblings to not only graduate from RIT but to graduate from the same program —industrial and systems engineering. They include her brother, Jacob ’14; sister, Paulina ’16; and brother, Joseph ’19.

Ghazle grew up seeing how ultrasound inspired her father, who has been director of RIT’s program since 1994. She was familiar with the RIT community well before her first day on campus and knew it would support her interests and ambitions; she didn’t need to apply anywhere else.

“Going to classes every day and seeing my dad’s face was amazing,” Ghazle said. “My family is everything to me. They are my backbone.”

She decided to double major after learning about the physician assistant profession during her second year through a chance opportunity to shadow a PA at Strong Hospital. The experience broadened her understanding of what she could do for patients, and Ghazle scheduled a meeting with the program leaders at RIT. She made her case to the PA faculty and was admitted to the program as a second year PA student.

“They were definitely shocked because nobody had tried this before,” she said.

Along with two majors, Ghazle pursued a full college experience that included roles as president and vice president of the Ultrasound Student Association, and as a student government representative for the College of Health Sciences and Technology. She will graduate as a member of the RIT Honors Program, an Outstanding Scholar, and a scholar in RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law, and Liberty program.

Kleinberg first heard about RIT at the age of 8 when her oldest brother, Jacob, was in the middle of his college search. Wanting to be just like him, she participated in a WE@RIT K-12 retreat and visited campus during Imagine RIT.

When it came time to look for a college, that same brother took her on a tour, including serious information about the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, as well as excitement for the Latin Rhythm Dance Club.

“We all got to see what RIT had to offer because of Jacob. I watched my parents send my siblings to college to do their thing, and 10 years later I got to do the same,” Kleinberger said. “I was able to get a sneak peek into the future—and make decisions that other kids coming here may not have been able to make.”

Kleinberger immersed herself in the industrial and systems engineering (ISE) department, working with faculty on research projects and becoming active with the student chapters of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) Society and the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers. Her co-ops as a process engineer were with Penske, LiDestri Foods, and Simplr.

“Not many people know what industrial engineering really is. But when people ask me about what I do, I tell them we are people engineers. That’s my tagline,” said Kleinberger, who is also getting a master’s degree in engineering management.

Kleinberger joined the Latin Rhythm Dance Team as a first-year student and worked her way up to the executive board. That’s where she learned the people skills that she will use when she begins work this summer with Johns Hopkins Hospital as a part of the Supply Chain Transformation initiatives. The group oversees the hospital’s change management and process improvement operations.

After graduation, Ghazle plans to stay in Rochester and is interviewing at local hospitals. Her foresight to combine an ultrasound and physician assistant education gives her a special skillset at a time when the medical field is facing a sonography shortage and adopting “point of care ultrasound” to diagnose certain diseases at the bedside.

“My main concern is improving the outcomes of my patients,” said Ghazle. “I treat every patient as my own family members, so being able to provide that extra service for their benefit is absolutely humbling.”

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