The Expertisecentrum Diversiteitsbeleid (Expertise centre Diversity Policy) has nominated three students from Utrecht University for the ECHO Award 2018. The ECHO Award aims to generate positive attention for individual successes by students from the multi-cultural society. Students who qualify for an ECHO Award are successful students of non-Western backgrounds who distinguish themselves with their above-average academic achievements, boundary-pushing attitudes, bridging qualities, active social involvement and leadership.
The nominated Utrecht University students are:
- Avin Ghedri (Master's programme Medicine, recommended by Gönül Dilaver and Berent Prakken). Avin's many sideline activities show a clear red line: building bridges between groups with Western and non-Western backgrounds, primarily in the context of the Medicine programme. Her efforts vary from successful blogs and education on secondary schools, to the organising of soundboard-group meetings within the Faculty of Medicine. Avin has been nominated for the ECHO Award for Scientific Education;
- Moska Hellamand (Master's programme Drug Innovation, recommended by Aukje Mantel). Moska devotes herself to the representation of vulnerable groups and their access to society. She does not just do that in her research, which is focused on the accessibility of medicines in low-income countries, but also in local politics. Moska has been nominated for the Science Engineering Award;
- Antoni Barshini (School of Law, 3rd year, recommended by Titia de Kramer). His broad social involvement is what is characteristic for Antoni, not just within his study society but for refugees as well. As a legal advisor at the Rechtswinkel, a language lecturer and a member of the Syria Legal Network, he makes effort round the clock to utilise his own experiences and education for others. Antoni has been nominated for the Loyens & Loeff Law & Tax Award.
Two other UU students were recommended by the university, but were not nominated by ECHO. These students are Fadoua Ajjaji (Master's programme Economics, recommended by the Director of Education / Wetenschapsknooppunt) and Khaled Essa (Bachelor's programme College Pharmaceutical Sciences/Honours BETA, recommended by Arjen Vredenberg). As an experience expert and role model, Fadoua supervises first-generation students in their first steps into the academic world. She is also the initiator of a new buddy programme of Utrecht University, in which primary-school students are introduced to scientific research. Khaled dedicates himself to fellow students and international students in a vigorous and sensitive way. His involvement has led to a newly-developed education course, successful symposiums and a troubleshooter function for students who participate in the Erasmus exchange programme.
The presentation of the ECHO Award 2018 is on 20 September 2018. The winners will be rewarded with a fully arranged Summer Course at the University of California Los Angeles in the United States.