Although students are committed to their homework, Capstones, and classes, they also devote themselves to numerous leadership activities on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus and its surrounding community. On April 23, NYUAD students, staff, and faculty took an evening to celebrate students’ leadership contributions during the 2nd Annual Al Khayr Awards Gala at the Park Hyatt Hotel.
Sixteen awards were presented in 12 categories, including sustainability, entrepreneurship, and humility. Nominations were accepted from NYUAD faculty and staff, as well as students who wished to recommend their peers. After reviewing more than 150 nominations, the committee — composed of staff, students, and faculty — determined the finalists for each award, with the winners announced during the gala.
During my own time as a college student at Ohio University, the annual leadership awards gala was eagerly anticipated each year by student leaders and the student body in general. I remember the feeling of seeing my peers receiving leadership awards, as well as the feeling of winning one myself. This year, Ohio University is celebrating its 40th annual leadership awards, and I can only hope that our own unique leadership awards process and gala at NYUAD will also remain a longstanding university tradition.
The Arabic term Al Khayr means "good," which each of the award finalists and winners has exhibited in their time at NYUAD. Winners took home award statuettes; miniature versions of Sama Tower, our former home. As we progress through our years on Saadiyat, they will serve as a nice reminder of our humbler beginnings.
Al Khayr Student Leadership Awards
Senior Leader: Jamie Sutherland, Benjamin Jance, Olivia Bergen
This award recognizes the three graduating seniors who have exhibited superior leadership ability by making a substantial impact on NYU Abu Dhabi and its community throughout their college career.
Emerging Leader: Ritu Muralidharan, Frederik Jensen, Suraiya Yahia
This award recognizes the three first-year NYU Abu Dhabi students who are rising leaders and have demonstrated great leadership promise or growth in leadership skills.
Outstanding Student Program: Open Mic
This award recognizes the exemplary program or collaboration by a group of students. Events or programs organized by any group of students, including SIGS and representative groups (Student Government, Hall Council) are eligible for this award.
Community Service: Gabriel Torres
This award recognizes the student who has had an extraordinary impact on the community through their time, talent and dedicated efforts. The nominee should serve as a role model for others and have demonstrated achievements in community building, civic engagement, active volunteerism, and/or creation of innovative service projects or initiatives.
Humble Leader: Yuqi Sun
This award recognizes the student who does what needs to be done without expecting recognition or reward. They pursue leadership not for a title, but for results, working hard and consistently demonstrating their reliability. They may be quiet in their words, but are loud in their deeds.
UAE Cultural Ambassador: Shatha Al Hashmi
This award recognizes the student who continually strives to connect NYU Abu Dhabi students with their host country, and to promote cultural understanding of the United Arab Emirates.
Sustainability: Ritu Muralidharan
This award recognizes the student who has demonstrated strong environmental stewardship in areas such as innovative best practices, awareness of ecological limitations, and resource conservation. This student has shown an unwavering commitment and dedication to improving environmental and social responsibility.
Sportsmanship: Anthony Murray
This award recognizes the student who has been encouraging to others, inspires athletic participation, is a consistent team player, and pushes their own boundaries in sport or competition.
Spirit: Patrick Wee
This award recognizes the student whose enthusiastic presence and spirit uplifts the energy of those around them. Their personal optimism is contagious and moves everyone forward in a positive way.
Entrepreneurship: Alf Lim
This award recognizes the student who has exhibited leadership ability in developing entrepreneurial spirit and thinking. This student has demonstrated dedication and skill relating to starting a new initiative, organization, business idea, or other entrepreneurial endeavor.
Diversity, Inclusivity, and Dialogue: Brooks Fowler
This award recognizes the student who has improved the NYUAD community through advancing awareness and education to examine the complex areas of identity and their intersections. Considerations may include, but are not limited to, activities that engage and challenge NYUAD community members in thoughtful dialogue about commonalities and differences.
Healthy Living: William Young
This award recognizes the student who embodies healthy living and promotes positive behaviors and choices. This student has made significant contributions to their communities through raising educational awareness of physical and/or mental health issues.
NYU President's Service Award
Brooks Fowler, Benjamin Jance, Kimberly Kathleen Rodriguez