the coastal regions of South Carolina and
Georgia. She’s involved with the firm’s
social media, public relations, graphic
design and marketing, and also helps with
special events.
“My boss, Connie Farmer Ray, has
been extremely helpful and generous
in allowing me to work with her and
her company even with my arthritis,”
Hassibi said. “She has been wonderful
through many surgeries by allowing
me to work from home when I couldn’t
leave my house and very flexible with
the multitude of doctor appointments. I
am currently telecommuting from South
Florida and handle all my work from
home. I have recently had to cut back
to part-time because my condition has
gotten even more challenging, but we
have made it work.”
Not one to sit still, Hassibi also keeps
active as the proud owner of B Creative
Marketing & Design, a company she
started as an outlet for her graphic design,
photography, illustrations and hand-
drawn and painted artwork. And she
handles creative writing, e-marketing and
more for companies and individuals.
Hassibi is quick to point out that
Lycoming set the foundation for her
career and personal life.
“I had an opportunity to participate
in a variety of classes, the diversity of
which has allowed me to be a well-
rounded individual,” Hassibi said. “I was
glad that I didn’t attend a college that
focused on just one educational arena – I
feel that I can truly understand research
and dive into a multiplicity of topics
without the fear that I won’t be able to
understand one certain area. When I
attended graduate school, I realized the
benefit of my undergraduate background:
writing well, an extended understanding
of science, accounting, business, geology
and mathematics, and more. All have
proven essential. When I started applying
for jobs, I wasn’t just an artist or solely
a business graduate; I had a wealth of
information to offer as well as the drive
to look into other areas without fear.”
Hassibi’s parents, Susan (Anthony)
’73 and William ’73 Lewis, who met
while attending Lycoming, are credited
with introducing their daughter to the
College. They always spoke highly about
their collegiate experience, and their
many heartfelt stories are what initially
drew her to the institution.
“The Internet wasn’t what it is today,
so I really learned a lot about Lycoming
when I visited with my mom during
Accepted Students Day,” Hassibi said. “I
loved the campus immediately. The art
department was amazing, the teachers
were so warm and welcoming, and I
especially loved the smaller class size.
Lycoming was just what I was looking
for.”
Her love for fashion began at an early
age and allowed her to excel within the
College’s art department. She especially
appreciated the efforts of Lynn Estomin,
professor of art, and Roger Shipley,
professor emeritus of art, referring to
them as the “two fundamentals in my
college career.”
Among her best experiences were
attending Art May Term twice – one year
in Spain, the other in Paris. She also had
a great group of friends at Lycoming,
many of whom she remains very close
with today.
“We loved to attend sporting events,
cultural events and classes – pretty much
anything that the school offered, someone
in our large group of friends was a part
of it, and we all supported each other,”
Hassibi said. “The four years at Lyco
remain some of the best experiences in
my life.”
Outside of her professional career,
Hassibi keeps herself physically active
with the likes of yoga, horseback
riding, swimming and non-impact gym
workouts. And she spends whatever free
time she has as an RA advocate.
Hassibi volunteers on two committees
per year: the Arthritis Walk, which
supports the Arthritis Foundation, and
Magic of Caring event, a benefit for
children with rheumatoid arthritis and
other systemic diseases. All proceeds
from the event, which includes a silent
auction and a fashion show featuring
children with arthritis and related
conditions, go toward sending children
to Camp FunRise, sponsored by Miami
Children’s Hospital and the Florida
Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.
“I have had a chance to visit this
camp two times and speak to kids with
RA,” Hassibi said. “It is powerful and
amazing to see what these children have
gone through in their lives. They are wise
beyond their years.”
Hassibi also tries to promote yoga to
other arthritis-suffers. She has teamed up
with Stick-e, maker of yoga and fitness
products such as nonslip mats, socks
and gloves and wrist support props. She
says through the use of these props,
individuals with physical limitations can
expand their practice and therefore their
lives.
It’s hard for Hassibi to remember life
without RA, which is why she believes in
the adage, “An object in motion stays in
motion.”
“I think I probably do more with my
RA than not,” Hassibi said. “I know it
has its challenges, from the multitudes
of surgeries, to the emotional struggles,
to lifestyle changes; but it is an immense
part of my life that has helped me to
become who I am. I look at my RA as a
blessing in that it has granted me a way to
look at life with gratitude and gumption.
Every obstacle that has presented itself,
I try to creatively circumvent it. With the
support of my family and friends, I am
not afraid of a challenge or RA.”
From top photo, Hassabi with her father, William
Lewis ’73; mother, Susan (Anthony) ’73 Lewis;
and husband, Cyrus.
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