Welcome Lipi Turner-Rahman, our new director of development

Lipi Turner-Rahman

Israt (Lipi) Turner-Rahman is a new director of development in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Lipi comes to the college after holding a similar position at the WSU Libraries, where she worked for 28 years. In her new role, Lipi will focus on elevating the college’s undergraduate, research, and graduate programs. Lipi was drawn to the college for many of the same reasons she attended and earned her B.S. in Microbiology – to make a difference.

“I was drawn by the college’s exploration and harnessing of big ideas to change the world for good,” she said.

How did you end up at WSU?

I came to Pullman from England for college and never left. Well, I have tried a couple of times, but WSU keeps pulling me back. The amazing atmosphere at WSU, its land-grant mission as well as meeting my husband had a lot to do with staying in Pullman. Education and access to education have been very important to my family. My grandfather, a farmer and a schoolteacher, urged my dad, mom, and their siblings to explore better and different lives through education, and that has really propelled my family in such interesting directions and places. I am a total nerd, love books and learning. I have always wanted to be a surgeon like my dad, hence the microbiology degree. It was only after numerous fainting spells while bleeding rabbits in immunology lab that I began to suspect medical school might not be a good idea! After the microbiology degree it was onward to degrees in anthropology. 

What drew you to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine?

I was drawn by the college’s exploration and harnessing of big ideas to change the world for good. Having ancestral roots in South Asia, I am passionate about the importance and urgency of providing innovative and accessible global health solutions to all. 

What is your area of expertise?

Maternal mortality, South Asia, and Feminist Quranic Exegesis. My original PhD advisor moved on, so I had to shift focus. This eclectic range of learning has let me teach classes from medical anthropology to Bollywood. 

What drew you into this area?

Development work has strong elements of listening and helping people’s stories be appreciated. I enjoy listening to and telling the stories of people, especially the narratives of communities and populations whose experiences, work, and perspectives are inadequately recognized or understood. This love of storytelling was fed by two amazing teachers in middle school and college. I feel blessed that I get to listen to and tell some extraordinary narratives every single day.

What about your work are you most excited about?

I love helping people make their philanthropic dreams come true. It sounds corny, but when you help donors make a profound difference and change the world for good it feels so sweet!

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Much of the time I am an introvert.