PAAIA Announces 2013 OGHAB Interns

July 23, 2013, Washington, D.C. – PAAIA is pleased to announce this year’s interns of the Opportunities for Growth, High Achievement, and Betterment (OGHAB) Program. Neda R. Ganji, Mahmoud Mihanyar, Niki Mihanyar, and Mehdi Mortazavi have all been placed with organizations in their respective fields of interest.

The PAAIA OGHAB (Opportunities for Growth, High Achievement, and Betterment) Internship Program provides summer internship opportunities for young Iranian Americans in a variety of fields and disciplines in organizations and companies nationwide. The goal of the program is to provide interns with the opportunity to learn about and gauge their interest in their field of study, while offering them  hands-on experience in a structured work environment.



Neda R. Ganji recently obtained her Master of Science in petroleum engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She will be interning at Americo Energy Resources this summer, where she will learn more about the oil and gas industry. Neda has extensive experience in reservoir and production engineering,  having worked for Daneshy Consultants International, Petropars Ltd., and the National Iranian Oil Company. She received her Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2008. Neda credits much of her success to the advice she received from her father. “My father told me no matter how big is your goal and unreachable it looks like, if you put enough effort and time you will reach it.”



Mahmoud Mihanyar is a rising senior studying architecture at the University of Florida School of Architecture. Born and raised in Mashhad, Iran, Mahmoud moved to the UK in 2007 and enrolled in the pre-engineering program at the City College of Brighton and Hove. After a year and a half in Brighton, he moved to the United States to continue his education at Daytona State College. At Daytona, he received his A.A degree after a year, with high honors. Following that, he started his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Central Florida, and after two years transferred to the UF School of Architecture. Mahmoud said he is “very excited to see where my skills will be once I have finished here, and I start my career in the ‘real world.’”




Born and raised in Iran, Niki Mihanyar moved to the United Kingdom in 2007 to pursue her creative dreams and ultimate goal of being a graphic designer. She was accepted into the prestigious Full Sail University in 2008 as a digital art and design student. With a new vision of the imaginative world, Niki graduated from Full Sail in 2010 and moved to California to follow her dream of being a graphic designer. She started working at Louey Rubino Design Group. Having lived all over the world, Niki’s work pulls from a diverse blend of cultural influences. She is most inspired by color, which she creatively pulls into all of her design work. Niki is currently attending the Daytona State College for her second bachelors in management and supervision.




Originally from Tehran, Iran, Mehdi Mortazavi is currently interning at one of the world’s most technologically advanced aerospace companies, Dassault Aviation, maker of Dassault Falcon luxurious business jets, where he is responsible for the engineering and design of innovative ideas that improve the comfort and efficiency of the jets.

Mehdi is a senior student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Florida.  He is in the Aerospace Engineering Honors Program. Prior to that, he lived in Melbourne, Australia for two years, where he studied science and engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) before moving to the United States. He left Iran at the age of 17 after receiving a diploma with a specialty in math and physics from Saleh High School in Tehran. Since early childhood, he has been passionate about aerospace and aviation, particularly space exploration. Aviation industry plays a crucial role in today’s transportation, and having the opportunity to be a small part of it is truly rewarding for him.

He is also a member of a collaborative research project between ERAU and Dassault primarily known as Dassault Design Institute, where he is teamed up with other graduate students to develop new ideas and improvements for legacy aircraft like the Falcon 10, which has been in service for several decades. They will also conduct research to develop a whole new system that enables individuals to compare multiple efficiencies of an aircraft known as “Aircraft’s Flight Print.”

Mehdi is the recipient of ERAU institutional grants and an incentive scholarship, as well as a PAAIA-­?IIE scholarship. He anticipates attending the master’s program at the California Institute of Technology upon his graduation in spring 2014.


Click here to learn more about the OGHAB Internship Program.


You are donating to : PAAIA, Inc.

How much would you like to donate?
$15 $25 $50
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note