SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV)- Students and staff at Alliant International University (AIU) gathered Monday afternoon to hold a moment of silence for a student killed last week.
Sara Saadat, 23, died when the passenger plane she was riding in with her mom and sister was shot down in Iran. All 176 passengers on board were killed.
Saadat was a citizen of Canada, but of Iranian descent.
She visited family in Iran over her school's winter break and was returning home to Canada when she was killed.
Monday would have been the start of her second semester at AIU.
Students and staff held a moment of silence for Saadat near the Canadian flag on campus.
"Sara had just finished her first semester of a four year course work program," said Amber Eckert, Vice President of Student Affairs. "Sara's program of study was a PsyD in clinical psychology and with that she was intending to be a practicing professional and see clients in a therapeutic manner. I know she wanted to make an impact on our community."
Grief counselors specifically trained in trauma and critical response were on campus to offer support to students coping with the loss.
A classmate of Saadat, who didn't want to be identified, shared this statement with 10News:
"Losing a member of our Alliant community has been very difficult. However, our faculty and staff have been very supportive of us as students and have been proactive in allowing us to have spaces on campus to process this loss. This goes to show how strong and resilient we are as a community and how important Sara was to our Alliant family. We are celebrating her life because we will miss her, and we will continue to honor her legacy."
Friends and classmates are planning a celebration of life for sometime next week.