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UOWD achievers honoured at annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony

Monday, 1 June, 2015

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) recognised the outstanding contributions of over 100 members of the student body during its 10th annual Student Leadership Awards ceremony recently.

Alongside the presentation of a large number of certificates to honour students’ enthusiasm on the sports field, during volunteer and charity work and in running clubs and societies, trophies and cash prizes were also awarded to outstanding members of the UOWD community.

After a gruelling judging session conducted by a panel of three members of University staff, students Zashia Hassan and Prajna Shettigar were recognised for outstanding volunteer work and mentoring activities. Honoured for their efforts in representing the University at a number of events including graduation ceremonies, the Career Fair and the Multicultural Festival, Zashina was awarded the Student Services Award whilst Prajna gained an honourable mention in the category.

Speaking about the awards, Prajna commented: “I love how UOWD has a broad focus on both students’ achievements and what they do outside the classroom. It's highly motivating that they recognise our efforts and makes it all worthwhile in the long-term.”

Students who demonstrated outstanding leadership and involvement in the student community were also acknowledged. Hanisha Kumar, a senior BBA student, won the top award in the UniSpirit category. She impressed the judges with ability to balance her commitment to a number of clubs and societies and maintain an impressive academic record, including being one of seven finalists for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University.

“I have always been a huge fan of participating in student clubs and activities, as it helps facilitate a lot of valuable lifelong skills in interpersonal development and communicating with others. It really helps you develop a good sense of self and serves as a platform to really grow and give back to student life” Kumar said.

Sandunie Wijesekara, a senior BCom Finance student, was honoured for her exceptional commitment to the University’s S.T.A.R (Students Taking Active Roles) program, an extra-curricular syllabus which has been designed to develop the leadership abilities of students in order to enhance their employability upon graduation. Amassing an inspiring total of 1480 S.T.A.R points accumulated throughout the year by taking part in a number of different activities, Sandunie was bestowed UOWD’s Super S.T.A.R Award.

“It's been such an honour being part of this leadership program. It was a golden opportunity to learn new skills and develop skills in organization and creativity. The program covers a lot of areas such as leadership and event management,” she explained.

Winner of this year’s Sportsperson of the Year Award was Jeet Singh Sethi, whilst Nabeela Amatul was presented with the University’s Outreach Award for her work leading charity activities on campus and volunteering at a range of external events. The Amra Notoun club was awarded with the Safir Award, recognising its outstanding contribution in improving cultural relations on campus by promoting Bangladeshi culture to the student community through various events.

The event also saw members of this year’s Student Representative Council (SRC) stand down and thanked for their commitment, whilst new members of the SRC were announced to attendees. Viacheslav Shakhov, outgoing President of the SRC, took the opportunity to thank UOWD, saying: “The SRC would like to express their gratitude to UOWD students and staff for this wonderful year and all of their support. We wish our UOWD family to grow and prosper, as well as achieving their high-reaching goals as we go forth into another academic year.”

Brett Lovegrove, Director of Administration and Strategy, spoke highly of this year’s honourees, commenting: “These students represent the ‘best of the best’ here at UOWD, and play the dual role of role models and student leaders to their peers. Employers are not just focused on academic credentials, but are also interested in extracurricular activities which help in students’ personal and professional development. Their involvement in extra-curricular activities sets these students apart – they are learning new skills that can be applied upon graduation and beyond.”