News story

Students Recognised for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the IIS Community

5th August 2021

The IIS Student Recognition Awards were held at the Aga Khaninfo-icon Centre on July 29th. Students, faculty and staff attended the in-person event, the first of its kind in over a year.

In an upbeat atmosphere, the ceremony recognised those students who had made outstanding contributions over the past academic year. Two awards were given: one for service to the IIS community and the other for leadership in an academic and/or social context, each with two recipients.

Dilrabo Khujanazar (GPISH 2022) and Nilufari Miraziz (STEP 2021) were recognised for their leadership in an academic and/or social context. Dilrabo was awarded for co-founding the Pamiri Youth Network. The Recognitions Committee, which judged nominations, said that she had recognised that there was a social need and stepped up to address it, even during a pandemic.

Nilufari won for her interest and passion for the STEP course. The Committee said that Nilufar made an extra effort to understand the concepts taught during her lectures, by initiating discussions with her classmates outside of class time and continuously motivating her classmates in their own learning.

Junaid (STEP 2022) and Suleman Pirani (STEP 2021) were awarded for their service to the IIS community. Junaid received numerous nominations and is described as “the thread that ties the cohort together”. According to those nominating him, he is dedicated to the student community, and has worked relentlessly to make sure everyone is able to meaningfully connect despite the pandemic restrictions.

This is the second year that Suleman has won in this category, which is testament to the effort he puts in to supporting his fellow students. He was awarded for the work he did to help the new cohort of students settle in. He arranged trips around London for new students and warmed up food for students who were quarantining.

The Student Representatives were also awarded for their hard work and diligence. In 2020-21 these were: Yasmeen Lila and Attiya Rafiq Nathoo (STEP 2021); Ali Bhimani and Hafeeza Murji (STEP 2022); Fariah Bakhsh and Urooj (GPISH 2022); and Aqib Lakhani and Farhan Feroz Ali (GPISH 2023).

This is the second year the Department of Graduate Studies (DGS) have delivered the Student Recognition Awards. Every May, nominations are sought from students, staff, faculty, ITREB UK and the UCL Institute of Education. The nominations are then sent to the Recognitions Committee, which is made up of two members of DGS staff, one staff member from the Department of Community Relations and two alumni.

Shelina Adatia, one of these two alumni, said “I think that the creation of the Student Recognition Awards is an excellent way to acknowledge and celebrate students’ leadership and commitment to the wellbeing of the IIS community. I am both grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve as the committee’s STEP alumnus member for the past two years, and I extend my sincere congratulations to all of the nominees and winners.”  

“It is only through recognising and acknowledging the good in the other that we can strive to inspire one another,” Semina Halani, who represented GPISH alumni on the committee, added.

Last year the ceremony took place online. The winner of the Award for Leadership in an Academic and Social Context in 2019-20 was Zain Asrani (STEP 2021) and the winner of the Award for Service to the DGS Community was Suleman Pirani, who was awarded in the same category again this year.

The Student Representatives last year were: Khushnur Toshmamadov and Saleeta Rajwani (STEP 2021); Shaba Shabbir Parpia and Zaina Peermohamed (GPISH 2022); and Nazra Ranmall and Imran Khan (GPISH 2021).

We congratulate everyone on their awards and recognitions, and all students of both STEP and GPISH—who have navigated an exceptionally challenging year with resilience, care for each other and a passionate dedication to learning.


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