I write this through tears. Yusor Abu-Salha was a student of mine at NCSU. She told me she took my physiology class because her husband-to-be had taken it the year before and liked me. She was also my advisee.
I remember how excited she was when she came to show me her engagement ring. I remember her timid request for a letter of recommendation to dental school. I remember handing her diploma to her at graduation. She was quietly intelligent and humble, kind and articulate. She was a pleasure to have in class.
I can’t begin to imagine how devastated her family is. I’m devastated. It doesn’t matter to me what the shooter’s motive is; there is no justification for his crime.
I know very little about Muslim culture. I grew up in a small coastal town in Florida with very little diversity. But I know there are good, kind, decent people who are Muslim, Christian and atheist. I know there are good, kind, decent people who are Republican, Democrat and Independent. There are also angry, violent people in all of the above groups.
I pulled up the letter of recommendation I wrote for her in May. I wrote about her kindness and empathy. I wrote about her ability to make everyone in her class group feel like they were included. She was really a lovely person – inside and out.