Global UGRAD alumni are known to embody the values of acceptance, inclusivity, philanthropy, and civic responsibility. They are chosen for their potential to become community leaders, and to influence change. Narrated below are the contributions some of these inspiring alumni have made as result of their exchange experiences at a U.S. university:
Improving access for the marginalized
Hafiz Usama Tanveer’s Global UGrad experience at Florida State University (FSU) enabled him to set up his social venture, PakVitae. Usama has since been working to develop a range of water filtration products to help save lives.
Even before participating in the UGrad program, Usama had been passionate about providing clean water to refugees and underprivileged communities. He however lacked the technology to make his idea for a “LifeStraw” inspired water filtration device, accessible. It was during the UGrad program, that Usama took a chemical engineering class and learned the technology he needed to make his “PakStraw” idea cost-effective and accessible. “My Global UGRAD-Pakistan experience is where it all started,” says Usama about his final design for PakStraw. “This program is exceptional in the way it has provided me with an opportunity to connect with and learn leadership skills from some of the world’s best mentors in the business.”
A detailed account of Usama’s journey so far and his future ambitions, please visit this link.
Showcasing her excellent leadership and diplomacy skills, Rubia Saeed from Georgia College and State University, gave a presentation on Pakistan at the Georgia International Leadership Conference (GILC) in Eatonton, Georgia. Through the presentation, Rubia highlighted the similarities between the United States and Pakistan. She called the Georgia International Leadership Conference an empowering experience, that instilled a sense of unity in her, teaching her “to appreciate differences and spread peace and love.”
Rubia’s host advisor appreciated her contribution saying that “Rubia prepared an excellent presentation on Pakistan and actively contributed to sessions on leadership and cross-cultural dialogue. We couldn’t be prouder! A big thank you to IREX for sending Rubia to us.”
Due to her work on strengthening relationships between her host community in Boone, N.C. and Pakistan, Hersha from Appalachian State University, was featured on Appalachian Today, an online publication of the university. Hersha is part of the Cultural Ambassadors program at her university which lets students “humanize world events and allow local community members to hear different perspectives,” says the Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services and Outreach. As part of the program Hersha visited Mabel School and taught students there how to count in Urdu.
The complete article can be read here.
Raising the bar for excellence
Hailed as a “great asset to the campus”, Muniba Dodhy, is an architecture student who participated in the first ever “Hawk-a-thon” held at the University of Kansas School of Business. Muniba partnered with a team of students from diverse academic disciplines, and came up with an innovative, real-life, graphic design for the competition. The design won the competition and was dubbed to be “pure genius” by the creative director of VLM, an advertising agency that co-presented the competition.
Empowering women through mentorship:
Muneeba Nasim at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) was selected to represent her university at the New Harmonious Women’s Retreat in March. The annual retreat champions women’s causes on campus and guides participants to develop an action plan to empower other young women on university and college campuses. Utilizing skills she learned at the retreat, Muneeba is developing a mentor system between undergraduate and graduate students at USI, with the help of her host advisor. “Muneeba has become much more confident in herself and her abilities,” explains her host. “She is approaching the campus community with ease.”