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Copy of Winners 2022

Mehul Anand (WBS)

OSCA photoMehul has provided a significant contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Warwick. As one of Warwick’s most active student Innovation Fellows, he has supported many student start-up societies to enable them to collaborate with Warwick Enterprise – the University’s innovation initiative. Mehul is driven, reliable, innovative, and recognises and seizes opportunities. He has a unique personality, one that exudes intelligence and confidence, but never arrogance.

Mehul has delivered several successful projects in the role of Innovation Fellow, including idea-stage funds, a society innovation fund, and work with University departments to help promote Warwick’s vision of making innovation accessible to every student. Mehul’s input was key in devising how to best engage all student societies with the Society Innovation Fund, supporting an inclusive approach. This has allowed the University to support a real breadth of innovation across the student body.

During his time at Warwick, Mehul created a Warwick Innovation Network, suggested new routes to manage partnerships through CRM software, and ran his own student support events. Mehul’s excellent networking skills have brought people together. He builds trust and respect with both his peers and the staff community, by showcasing his passion for both innovation and Warwick.

Under Mehul’s leadership, Enactus Warwick became the UK’s entrepreneurship society of the year, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Enactus UK competition in recent years. Enactus Warwick has partnered with Warwick Retail to start a vegan food stall in the library café, supporting various University aims.

At Enactus, Mehul also founded Advance Accelerator, a student-led start-up accelerator that has supported over 20 Warwick student ventures in the field of entrepreneurship. Mehul showed great leadership in guiding a core team of 13 to deliver workshops, mentor mixers, research insights, and a pitch showcase for the cohort. Mehul offered crucial support to other Warwick students looking for and needing assistance to drive key initiatives forward, e.g. Letters to the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Always striving to push the boundaries and deepen collaborations, Mehul has also done a great job working closely with Presidents of several entrepreneurship societies at Warwick to deliver events and flagship summits, such as the Warwick Impact Summit.

Charlotte Simms (WMS)

Charlotte SimmsCharlotte is an outstanding individual who has helped transform the way in which Warwick Medical School (WMS), and particularly the MB ChB course, engages with the Equality Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) agenda.

Through her innovative thinking and collaborative leadership, she established the first student-led Athena SWAN sub-group, which sought to address gender and intersectional inequalities faced by students, and to embed inclusive cultures and workplace practices across the MB ChB course. This group has provided an open, authentic, and inclusive forum for the student voice. Community engagement was central to the group’s activities, seeking to highlight and address ED&I challenges relevant to the needs of students across the different cohorts, and to embed good practice across WMS MB ChB culture. This excellence was recently acknowledged with a Commended award at Warwick’s inaugural Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Awards held in Autumn 2021.

Building on this experience and continuing to respond to the needs of these communities, Charlotte led on the development and delivery of parallel initiatives, including neurodiversity workshops for both staff and students. Such workshops recognise the importance of providing appropriate training to enable neurodiverse students to fully engage with activities that will enhance career progression.

Charlotte led on a formal research project, including the difficult ethics application process. This project sought to explore students’ views on the newly-established Raising Concerns process, which was implemented to reduce discriminatory behaviour and improve patient care and safety. The project found that around half of participants knew about the process, identifying a clear avenue for improvement in WMS’s monitoring of problematic behaviour.

With her team, Charlotte also created and conducted a series of workshops to educate her fellow students and explore issues of LGBT+ equality in healthcare. Complementing this, she successfully applied for a Rainbow Badge scheme so that attendees at the workshop could demonstrate their commitment to LGBT+ equality. This application created a standing fund for similar equality projects in the WMS community going forward.

Charlotte’s leadership in this domain has set the standard at Warwick Medical School for student-led initiatives in the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity space. Under new leadership, the Athena SWAN student group continues to thrive and work, continuing the legacy of what Charlotte has created. Her work has already enhanced the experience of students at WMS and will continue to do so as the group she created continues its work.

Gabriela Barzyk (WMS)

Gabriela BarzykGabriela is an outstanding member of the Warwick community. Alongside studying on the demanding graduate-entry medicine programme at Warwick amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, she became a founding member of what is now In2MedSchool, a national widening participation charity which aims to support students from underprivileged backgrounds applying to study Medicine at university. It provides regular one-to-one mentoring, fortnightly webinars, conferences, and summer school opportunities. At present, the charity has over 2,000 Mentors and over 1,000 Mentees in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

When Gabriela joined In2MedSchool, working with founder Brian Wang, the scheme was in its infancy, with around 180 potential mentors and no clear systems. Gabriela made an immediate impact in starting up the first ever cohort of the scheme at Warwick, and by September 2020, the initiative had 1,500 sign ups on a national scale, all possible as a result of Gabriela’s drive and thorough implementation of behind-the-scenes systems.

While Gabriela was on full-time medical placements, she recruited volunteers to help run the project; wrote new codes of conduct and safeguarding policies; independently held the role of Warwick Regional Head overlooking the process of finding students from disadvantaged schools and allocating them to Mentors; and was elected as the Vice President of the initiative.

In2MedSchool was awarded Most Sustainable Project Award at the Medical Schools Council’s Widening Participation Conference in November 2020, and has received numerous other recognitions and sponsorships since. Gabriela has since taken up the position of Trustee, and saw the initiative become a charity in February 2022. Founder Brian Wang said: “Without her, In2MedSchool would not be at the stage it is today. She is one of the most dependable individuals I've ever worked with.”

Gabriela ran the first ever virtual Warwick Medical Summer School for local sixth form and undergraduate students, with over 80 attendees. She has been a personal tutor to adult learners and children with learning disabilities and mentored research students through Compass Undergraduate Mentorship Programme.

Gabriela is also President of the WMS Oncology and Palliative Medicine Society, National University Representative for British Oncology Network for Undergraduate Societies, National Taskforce member for Widening Participation Medics Network, and Student Section Council Member at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Jenny Guo (Economics)

Jenny GuoJenny has been nominated for an OSCA because of the incredible work that she has done both within and outside Warwick.

Jenny is the first person in her family to attend university and has been a passionate advocate of volunteering and social mobility. She is always helping other people and has volunteered for several non-profit organisations. No matter how busy she is, she never turns someone down who needs help.

Jenny was one of the first student ambassadors for FirstGens, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping students, who are the first in their family to attend university, to navigate higher education. Jenny is also currently a mentor for SEO London, helping younger students navigate their transition to university by sharing stories and tips from her university experience. She was nominated as a top ten finalist for the TARGET jobs First Generation Undergraduate of the Year Award 2021.

For the past two years, Jenny has been a mentor for the Department of Economics and was recently awarded Best Mentor for her consistent support of first-year students. During the pandemic, Jenny also volunteered as an Economics tutor as part of the Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative to help students whose learning was disrupted by the pandemic. She provided weekly lessons and created resources to help students revise.

At the same time, Jenny helped set up Aspiring Interns, a UK-based student initiative aiming to bridge the gap between incoming university students and first-year internship opportunities in all mainstream city professions. Over an 8-week programme, Jenny helped students interested in investment banking to break into the industry by checking their CVs, cover letters and running mock interviews and assessment centres. Jenny and her team helped over 200+ students to secure a Spring Week internship. Jenny herself secured 10 Spring Week offers and a summer internship at HSBC, which she has converted into a full-time graduate job.

At Warwick, Jenny is an active exec member of societies and works hard to increase female representation. She co-founded Warwick Women in Economics Society, secured 11 sponsors as Co-President of Warwick Women’s Careers Society, hosted a Women’s Summit and created 10 career guides as careers officer for Warwick Women’s Careers Society.

Jenny was recently invited to the prestigious Carroll Round Conference in Washington DC to present her paper examining the impact of Covid-19 on job quality in the UK and highlighted policy opportunities to tackle these growing job quality inequalities.

Ayesha Irfan (Physics)

Ayesha IrfanAyesha transferred from Engineering to Physics, and though she was originally apprehensive about the switch, she has accomplished incredible things in her time within the department.

For the entirety of Ayesha’s first year, whilst juggling her degree, she poured her free time into ZOU, a tech company that she co-founded. She has always had a passion for programming and stayed up for nights on end writing millions of lines of code for her first app. With the pandemic allowing Ayesha free time during her first year, as studies moved online, she decided to make the most of the situation, programming for 16 hours a day, working towards her second app, a GCSE and A-Level maths quiz app.

Ayesha has an incredible heart and a passion for education. She spent months writing her own unique exam questions to cover all topics of A-Level and GCSE maths, and as of today, her app has been released onto app stores, for free, with hundreds of downloads. Over this summer she hopes to release four more apps of a similar nature.

Ayesha hopes to one day open several schools in Pakistan, with the focus on encouraging young girls to get an education. A year ago, she and her twin sister were successful in starting a scholarship program to fund the education of one Pakistani girl and they are hoping to expand this project further in the future.

In her term-time breaks, she spends her free time in Manchester providing free tutoring for GCSE and A-Level students in her town and spent her results day last year on the phone, working to get her students into the best possible universities through clearing.

Ayesha has been determined not to let these extra commitments and responsibilities come at the cost of her degree. She has achieved a First-class grade consistently over her last two years of the degree and has proven that she has a truly brilliant mind. Over the summer, she was able to secure a highly prestigious internship at the University of Oxford's Department of Mathematics. Though she did not have much experience in the field of Machine Learning and Neural Networks, she persevered and used her experience in programming to complete the project. Her research led to a breakthrough in the field, and she is in the midst of writing a research paper with the Department of Mathematics at Oxford, which is expected to be published in the summer. She has accomplished this, with no formal experience in mathematics, through her hard work alone.

This year, the final year of her degree, Ayesha secured two jobs, as a tutor and lead programmer for a tutoring company. She has held these two jobs throughout the entire year, despite her academic commitments.

Charlie Godfrey (Physics)

Charlie GodfreyCharlie is an incredibly dedicated and passionate Physics student, with exceptional achievements both within and beyond his degree. He has worked part-time at Sonemat Ltd for two years after his talent was spotted by a lecturer, where he has been trusted with the responsibility to work independently on a wide range of real-world projects involving physics. His current project investigates the detection of cracks in reinforced concrete, which promises to reduce the environmental impact of the building industry.

Charlie worked as a student researcher in 2020, gaining experience with computational modelling of two-dimensional materials while collaborating with Dr Nick Hine on his Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) project.

Charlie also undertook a 10-week Rank Prize internship as a student researcher in Southampton in the field of Optoelectronics, collaborating on a topic at the forefront of scientific research and gaining valuable practical research experience and in-depth knowledge in the field of fibre optics. As part of this, he won the prize for the best written report as judged by a panel of experts. He is set to become a contributing author of a series of journal publications inspired by his team’s work.

In addition to all this, Charlie has also created and worked on his own independent physics projects that he feels can make a tangible difference in the real world. Working alongside a fellow Physics student, he has most recently been developing prototypes of wearable devices that can measure blood glucose levels, which he hopes will prove extremely useful to help those with diabetes manage their condition.

Charlie has undertaken voluntary work for Aspirations, which helps firms attract, recruit, and retain high-functioning autistic talent. Contributing mainly as part of the data analysis team, he helped spread awareness about neurodiversity, high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome working on Project Aspiera, analysing survey data from universities.

Charlie’s desire to make a difference extends outside academia, as he rose to the challenge of cycling half the height of Mount Everest to raise money for World Bicycle Relief.

Inca Hide-Wright (Psychology)*

Inca Hide WrightInca is an aspiring art psychotherapist who combines her passion for arts and her interest in Psychology to make a significant difference to the life of the University community whilst studying at Warwick. She is passionate about helping others and doing what she can to reduce the inequalities present in society.

In her second year, Inca became a course rep for the first time, aiming to use her voice to help others be heard and help make communication with the department more transparent. In Inca’s second year she also participated, completed, and continued to contribute to Warwick’s Teamwork International Internship programme and Escape Arts, the external organisation Inca’s team was partnered with. Inca worked with her team and Escape Arts to create and disseminate a pack of resources created for primary schools to learn about and be empowered to make positive climate actions. Inca continued as the course rep Communications Officer in her final year.

During her time at Warwick, Inca worked with Open Theatre, a Coventry-based organisation working with young people with learning disabilities to create, enable and learn from the arts. During Inca’s time with Open Theatre, she participated in drama sessions, visited local heritage sites, observed the film creation process and co-wrote the project evaluation, which was presented to the National Lottery Fund (the project’s funding body).

Inca has co-founded Embrace, a mental health organisation which matches a member of the local community with 16-25-year-old males to help address the gap between child and adult mental health services. Inca will continue her work as part of Embrace to continue to make a difference to the local community.

In addition, Inca has recently participated in and contributed to Warwick’s EUTOPIA Mind Emotions programme. She worked within an international team to analyse and report on measurements and methods of emotion elicitation. Inca’s public engagement project, as part of the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme, has also recently gained funding. Inca has been delivering free, professionally led art and wellbeing sessions for young widening participation students in the local community over the summer.

Throughout her time at Warwick, Inca’s warm personality, natural ability to lead and communicate has enabled her to excel in all projects she got involved with and her targeted efforts to answer two of the biggest challenges of this century (climate change and the pandemic) have made a real difference to our community.

Mohammad Karim (Politics, Philosophy and Law (PPL))

Mohammad is an achiever whose contributions have had far-reaching impacts. He is the founder of the MMK Academy which is an award-winning youth-led soft skills’ school that was founded in March 2020.

Mohammad has also contributed to the Warwick community, giving talks to Warwick students on how to improve their communication skills and in recognition of his contributions, he has been awarded the TransferWise 20 under 20 award ranking him as one of the top 20 entrepreneurs in Europe under the age of 20 in 2020.

He has engaged in various community engagement projects within minority communities such as conducting pro-bono sessions with children from low social economic backgrounds and with students from marginalised communities who are usually under-represented within the academic system. These include sessions with minority community such as Hujjat Mosque (London), the Al Abbas Mosque (Birmingham) and the Black Heads Students Network to improve their soft skills.

His activities have produced international impact such as being a youth ambassador for a United Nations registered NGO called the Lady Fatemah Trust. In his advisory role, he has advised the trust on their strategy for youth empowerment for children in Tanzania and Kenya. This is demonstrative of his ability to deliver effective and positive change around the world.

Mohammad has worked in collaboration with established entities such as the UK Parliament and The Patchwork Foundation to try and increase the political awareness of the students he works with, thereby giving them a more holistic offering.

After graduating, he plans to apply the acquired knowledge and transferrable skills obtained to improve the levels of political engagement and awareness at minority communities in London.

Mohammad has appeared on the BBC twice, in the lead up to the 2019 General Election where he discussed his experience of being ‘Muslim, young and political’, and in 2021 where he talked about the Race Report.

He was shortlisted for the UK’s Head Delegate to the Official G20 Youth Conference in Indonesia where he will lead the UK delegation. The Y20 is the official youth group of the G20 which is an official offshoot of the G20 alongside the B20 (Business 20) and W20 (Women's 20). The summit brings together young leaders from across the G20 nations to discuss and debate global challenges and agree on policy recommendations they would like to see their respective leaders take forward at the G20 Summit. The impact of their deliberations and resolutions will transcend the Y20 as their recommendations will be drafted into a communiqué which will be presented to world leaders at the next G20 summit.

Khondker Shabaab (Engineering)**
Raina Bardhan (School of creative arts, performance, Film and television studies)**

**To be awarded in July 2023