OSL Recognizes Students With Inaugural Leadership Awards


The Office of Student Life honored seven students and three student groups at the inaugural Student Leadership Recognition Awards ceremony in the Student Organization Center at Hilles on Monday.

The ceremony was commissioned by the OSL to recognize contributions of student leaders to campus life and student organizations that have demonstrated commitment to collaboration and innovation.

Dozens of students were nominated for the three individual award categories, and 11 student groups were candidates for the three organization awards. A selection committee of College administrators and UC representatives chose the winners.

Alexander R. Miller, the assistant dean of student life, said that the ceremony served to highlight the work that students have done on campus.


“I was reading the nominations and was truly surprised by all the things that our students are involved in and tonight was just a representation of all the things that our students have done,” Miller said.

Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana spoke at the ceremony and presented the awards to recipients. A Business School professor of leadership development himself, Khurana reflected on the distinction between being a leader and demonstrating leadership in his opening remarks.

Shaiba Rather ’17, former Undergraduate Council President, received the signature prize called the “Veritas Award” and gave the keynote speech for the evening.

“I was elected to serve as UC President but more than anything it was nice to see all these unsung heroes be recognized today,” Rather said. “I feel truly honored to be recognized but everything I have accomplished on this campus has had at least 50 people working behind it so the leadership I have been awarded for was not just me but the actions of many people.”

Harvard College VISION President Paul M. Lewis ’18 said that he appreciated his organization’s selection for the “Collaboration Award” and enjoyed the focus of the ceremony on recognizing students.

“We were very happy to win the award and very grateful for all the groups we work with,” Lewis said. “We try and see it as not just as winning the award, but also the groups that have helped us achieve this.”

The student leadership awards is part of the OSL’s “leadership development” initiative launched earlier this semester, which also included a grant incentivizing student organizations to host events together and a leadership workshop called “Catalyst.” Grant funding was awarded to 22 individual students and 26 student organizations, according to the OSL’s website.

The Freshman Dean’s Office created their own set of awards in 2016 to recognize achievements beyond the classroom and will present the five awards to freshmen at a ceremony on May 3.

A complete list of Student Leadership Awards winners is below:

Inclusive Community Award: Cabot Café

Collaboration Award: VISION

Innovation Award: Music in Hospitals and Nursing Homes Using Entertainment as Therapy

Emerging Leader Award: Hakeem O. I. Angulu ’20, Alisha A. Ukani ’20, and Henry Zhu ’20

Spirit of Harvard College Award: Berkeley Brown ’18, Anwar Omeish ’19, and Raj Vatsa ’18

Veritas Award: Shaiba Rather ’17

—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.

—Staff writer Kenton K. Shimozaki can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @KentonShimozaki



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