November 2, 2023

Profiles in Excellence: Rojan Javaheri, University High School Class of ’19  

As a child, Rojan Javaheri was captivated by the idea of space. She was intrigued by discoveries in dark matter and fascinated by how much could be learned about things that were so far away. Even popular movies like Interstellar and The Martian fed her curiosity about our place in the universe. 

By the time Rojan started her freshman year at University High School, she didn’t think that her childhood passion for space would ever amount to anything more than a hobby. Until, one day, a teacher came into her classroom talking about a new program called the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program, a collaboration between IUSD, Tustin Unified, and IPSF. “I didn’t really believe what the teacher was telling us: ‘you guys will literally get to launch satellites into space!’ I thought that was his selling point to get us to sign up, but when I attended the first few meetings, I realized he was actually serious!” 

From the very first day, Rojan realized that this program would change the trajectory of her life. The program’s multidisciplinary approach split students into teams, each focused on different aspects of the project. This was a rare opportunity for Rojan and her high school teammates to experience the combination of specialization and collaboration necessary in the aerospace industry. 

She never dreamed that the decision to join the team would result in working with NASA, JPL and many other leaders in the space industry. By the time Rojan graduated, she had helped build not one, but two, cube satellites and launched them into low earth orbit, making history. 

Now as a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with degrees in Neuroscience and Music, Rojan plans to apply to medical school. Rojan credits her success to the opportunities that she had in IUSD. “I know that attending Irvine schools prepared me for the challenges in my life and also inspired me to dream bigger about my future. Maybe I’ll do neuroscience research at NASA to combine my love for biological sciences and space exploration.” 

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