The Division of Marketing and Communications at Memorial University has funded the Student of the Year Award at the inaugural International Student Awards.
Second-year communications major Guruchathram Ledchumanan (GOO-ROO-CHAY-THRUM LED-CHEW-MA-NEN) of Malaysia is the International Student of the Year. He said unlike his grandmother and father, he has been fortunate enough to attend university.
“My father and grandmother have both taught me more than they will know,” said Mr. Ledchumanan. “Memorial has also given me more than they will know. I can only hope that I will be able to give back to them what they have so graciously given to me.”
The award ceremony was part of the revamped International Student Resource Centre’s outreach efforts. In February, the centre’s doors reopened after being shuttered for the previous two years. Students who come from all corners of the globe to study at Memorial now have a student-run centre to call their own.
The peer-support centre has had new life breathed into it thanks in part to its new president, Danai Kusikwenyu. The Zimbabwe native said she is delighted the Division of Marketing and Communications sponsored the top award of the evening.
“The International Student Resource Centre is very pleased the Division of Marketing and Communications has chosen to provide $1,000 for this award,” said Ms. Kusikwenyu. “It is a welcome indication that Memorial is engaged with its international student population.”
On Nov. 14, students from countries from around the world were honoured with awards such as Student of the Year, Academic Excellence, Exceptional Volunteerism, a “Sunshine” award and a People’s Choice Award carried out via a web vote. The event took place in the main auditorium of the Health Sciences Centre, followed by a reception.
The International Student Resource Centre and the Memorial University of Newfoundland Student’s Union provided the statuettes awarded to winning students, while the Division of Marketing and Communications donated the cash prize for the International Student of the Year award. Student Affairs and Services provided food and refreshments after the awards ceremony.
Ms. Kusikwenyu said she hopes the activity and raised profile of the International Student Resource Centre will encourage greater international student involvement on campus and to unite international students within a single collective by encouraging the community to interact together. Mostly though, she hopes the award ceremony will create a university tradition that each international student community can identify with, participate in and benefit from in the years to come.
“There are so many great things about working and studying in Canada, the most being that you can keep your identity because everyone here is so welcoming. Memorial is such a fantastic place to be,” said Ms. Kusikwenyu.
The International Student Resource Centre (ISC) is a support centre for international students and their families. It advocates on behalf of international student issues, creates greater international student awareness on and off campus, promotes multiculturalism with events and programming while all the while envisioning greater integration between international students and the greater university community.