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Winners 2017

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We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's Outstanding Student Contribution Awards, as chosen by a panel made up of the Registrar, Pro Vice Chancellor Education and the Students' Union.


Michael Andronicou

Michael Andronicou

Michael Andronicou has worked passionately to make a significant difference to the students at the University and to promote the University to external audiences, businesses and pupils in schools. Michael’s entrepreneurial flair and strong leadership led to him being elected as President of the Engineering Society (2014-15), despite being in his first year. He transformed a little known Society to one of the most high profile University societies.

Through his strong and inspirational leadership and ability to innovate, he increased the membership of Warwick Racing by 500%. His inclusive marketing campaign enabled him to achieve a 20% female demographic, a truly phenomenal achievement for an engineering-based project.


Michael designed the Speaker Series and Careers Series, hosting speakers, including sponsors from Jaguar Land Rover and deutsche Bank, to weekly audiences of 80 people. The Speaker Series and Careers Series led to the personal development of hundreds of Warwick students, who acquired employability skills, from CV writing to one on one interview practice with a graduate recruiter to writing cover letters.

   

Ragavan Balendran

Ragavan Balendran

During his time at Warwick, Ragavan Balendran has made a substantial contribution to the welfare of others in the local community. Ragavan has been involved with Warwick Youth Phab, a Leamington based youth club for disabled and non-disabled youths, since his first year at university.

As President, his role is to ensure that the club has enough volunteers each week and to run the club by recruiting students and local volunteers. He has also helped raise funds for the charity through contacting local businesses and running fundraising events.

The club offers youths the chance to develop new interests and have fun in a supportive environment. The club also gives the parents and guardians some much needed respite from care duties. It has offered students the chance to volunteer in the community and has raised awareness of funding support and other external groups.

He has sourced First Aid, Disability Awareness and Safeguarding training so that all volunteers feel confident to undertake their role and can develop within the setting.

   

Reem Doukmak

Reem Doukmak

To graduate at the winter degree ceremony in January 2018.

   

Mohammed Eltayeb

Mohammed Eltayeb

Zakir Fozdar

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During their time at Warwick, Mohammed Eltayeb and Zakir Fozdar founded eCrops, an enterprise perfectly placed between their interests of business and international development. In January 2015, they began trading agricultural commodities across borders from developing regions across the world, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. In just over two years, they have made approximately $2m in revenue, resulting in nearly $125,000 in retained earnings.


They have now turned their attention to the communication problem between buyers and sellers, and are developing a brokerage system that will protect sellers from under-pricing their assets and ensuring fair pricing through auction‑style buying. They have travelled to Germany, Lebanon and Dubai to attend trade shows and expand their business links.


Mohammed spent his second year as the President of the Warwick International Development Society (WIDS) supported by Zakir in a Vice-Presidential role. Together they created partnerships and internship opportunities for members with UNICEF in Morocco as well as organising volunteering opportunities with the Madagascar Azfadi charity and in the local community, namely the Coventry food bank. At WIDS, they also organised an annual summit and hosted biweekly talks, including a panel discussion around the Syrian refugee crisis, between the Presidents of Warwick’s Student Union, Finance, Anti-Racism and PPE societies.


Nonetheless, their proudest achievement to date has been in founding Warwick’s first-ever Africa Summit. The summit saw over 20 reputable speakers from across the globe, including the UN Economic Commissioner to Africa, come to campus to deliver talks, panel events and breakout sessions to over 300 students.

   

Gareth Knott

Gareth Knott

 

Throughout Gareth Knott’s time at Warwick he has worked with dedication and passion to help the university, his fellow students and the local community. He has represented his year group in the Student-Staff Liaison Committee for all four years of study and chaired the committee for two years. He has been extremely approachable and made efforts with all students in order to engage them in decision making and finding out ways to improve their student experience.

Gareth also started the Anki flashcard sharing program, which made around 8000 electronic flashcards and is widely used by medical students, proving an invaluable resource for learning and remembering medical knowledge.He was the British Medical Association representative for Warwick and started the BMA Warwick society and Facebook group. He was also elected to the BMA West Midlands Regional Council for two years running. He has supported medical students by giving several talks and met several MPs about the junior doctors’ contact.

Away from the Medical School, he was one of the founders of Rawkus, which collects food for those suffering from food poverty.
He also founded Med Minds Warwick which educates medical students about mental health and trains them to give classes in local schools.

   

Martin Li

Martin Li

 

Martin Li has contributed to Warwick through his engagement with multiple societies. At Enactus, he became involved in a social project called BeCEO, where he designed workshops on business and entrepreneurialism for children in under-privileged schools. He was also involved in Warwick Consulting Society/180 Degrees Consulting, where he helped a start-up called GotPolitics which aimed to get youngsters to be more politically involved by looking at their finances, marketing, business strategies and potential school or university ties.

He has written for the Warwick Economics Society and Warwick Finance Societies magazines, delivering articles and talks. And as Economics Student Mentor he mentored over 25 first-year students and volunteered his time as a maths tutor with Warwick Volunteers and Teach First.

Martin is also engaged with Warwick Sport. He is an active tennis and badminton member is a qualified football referee, helping out by officiating the Warwick football league matches every Wednesday and Saturday. This has led to him volunteering in the local community by officiating in external county matches, Coventry City Academy, or cup finals at Leamington FC.
Martin deeply cares about helping others and has an impressive track record of engaging with the wider community at local and national level.

   

Susan Rutherford

Susan Rutherford

Susan Rutherford has displayed an outstanding and ongoing commitment to improving the lives of homeless people in both Warwickshire and nationwide. Susan helped to found a University homeless charity, as well as opening and running a weekend night shelter for the homeless people of Leamington Spa.

The work that Susan puts in at the shelter is immense and her commitment and dedication to her role is inspiring. As well as spending two nights a week at the shelter, Susan is also there most evenings behind the scenes. She single-handedly organises the washing of bedding, cleaning schedules and donations of food, clothing and furniture. She has also inspired many other Warwick students to support and volunteer at the shelter.

The shelter also takes volunteers from the wider community, which has allowed local residents of all ages and backgrounds to meet and has fostered a real sense of community spirit. Many of the users of the centre have commented on the huge impact that the Leamington Night Shelter has had, both in providing a roof over people's head and a warm dinner, as well as providing healthcare, encouraging housing and generally making positive improvements to people's lives.

   

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan

 

Amy Sullivan has been an outstanding, dedicated volunteer during her three years at Warwick. She has volunteered for a range of projects including Warwick Youth Phab, Student Tutors SEN, Buddy Club, YMCA and Nightline. In her final year, Amy was President of the Warwick Volunteers Student Executive Committee and led the Executive Team to develop a range of innovative ideas which enhance the student experience and support employability.

These include the creation of a Using Your Experience page, which involved collecting stories from alumni about how volunteering supported their career development; and the introduction of a Volunteer of the Week Award which provides recognition and feedback for volunteers.

Amy was Project Leader for Buddy Club, which befriends residents in a local care home, most of whom have dementia. As a volunteer with Warwick Youth Phab, a club based in Leamington Spa where able and disabled children are encouraged to play together and take part in activities which develop their confidence, Amy volunteered regularly each week.

Throughout her time at University, Amy has been involved in a range of projects and has contributed over 300 hours of volunteering.

Umar Taj

Umar Taj

To graduate at the winter degree ceremony in January 2018.

   

Jennifer Wheeler

Jennifer Wheeler

Jenny Wheeler's positive contribution to the life of students at Warwick, especially disabled students, has been truly monumental. Being elected Disabled Students' Officer at the Students Union an outstanding three years running is clear evidence of her success and popularity among fellow students.

Her campaigns have undoubtedly improved accessibility and awareness of issues surrounding living with a disability, additional need or long-term health problems.

Further to this, she has had a fundamental role within the music community in her time at Warwick as a music scholar playing in a variety of ensembles at the university and in the surrounding local community. In her 5 years as a member of the University of Warwick Wind Orchestra, she became the longest serving student conductor, conducting the orchestra at the National Concert Band Festival. She has been the principal flautist for the orchestra, and despite her incredible talent, is always prepared to help, taking time to fix instruments, advise on technique or simply be there if any member of her section has any problems at all.

Although Jenny’s achievements have been recognised in the past with other awards such Part Time Officer of the Year 2016 and the Boars Unsung Heroes of 2017, her overall contribution to the university across the duration of her time here has been as yet overlooked.