Pictured above: the 2016- 17 Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership recipient, Mariam Khan.
Each year the President’s Community Advisory Committee on Diversity presents a Mary Washington student with the Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership. This award is given to a rising senior enrolled in the University, who possesses strong characteristics of leadership and demonstrates a personal commitment – advocating for diversity and inclusion across campus. Once the recipient is chosen he or she serves as an ambassador for diversity, a peer mentor to underrepresented students, and a voice for underrepresented populations to the faculty and staff.
To apply for the Citizenship Award for Diversity presented annually during the Diversity Program, which is part of Orientation Week, a student must complete the application as well as submit one (1) faculty or staff recommendation. Faculty and Staff may nominate students for this award as well.
Once chosen as the recipient of the Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership, the recipient will be asked to serve in various capacities throughout the 2016- 17 academic year. The on-going service agenda will be mutually beneficial, service will be provided to the campus community, and the student will continue to develop academically and socially.
Mariam Khan is a senior double majoring in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She was born in Kashmir and grew up in Arlington, Virginia.
Mariam has been involved in the Islamic Student Association (ISA) since her first year including serving president one year. Through ISA, she helped to organize campus-wide programs such as Fast-A-Thon and panel discussions that have helped foster a better understanding of Islam and Muslims. She also participates in the UMW chapter of UNICEF and is an executive board member of Women of Color. During the past two summers, she has worked as an Orientation Leader welcoming new students to the UMW community. As an Orientation Leader she enjoys the opportunity to showcase her love and enthusiasm for her university.
Additionally, she has served as a RISE peer mentor for the past two years for incoming students and will continue in that role as a senior. RISE is “Resources Inspiring Student Excellence.” Being a RISE mentor has allowed her to help new students better adjust to a college setting and form lifelong friendships.
During her senior year, Mariam will continue to be a member of the SGA Diversity and Unity Coordinating Committee and the student-run Finance Committee. She also plans to live in Framar/International Living Community where she will interact with people from different cultures and help implement events that promote diversity and inclusion within the UMW community.
After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate work in Women and Gender Studies and looks forward to contributing to the fight for equality of women worldwide. She is especially interested in understanding the impact of conflict and war on women. In the long term, she aspires to work for a non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C., area.
She is extremely grateful to have been chosen to be a recipient of this award and is hoping to continue the work of diversity and inclusion on UMW’s campus. Mariam believes that as a leader, it is important to immerse oneself in one’s cause while also being a guiding hand. A good leader never stops learning or having the desire to learn.