The Outstanding Student Contribution to Education Awards are intended to recognise and celebrate the efforts made by students in enhancing the excellence of Cambridge education through their voluntary or extracurricular activities.
Cambridge staff and students were asked to nominate an individual or a group of undergraduate or postgraduate students who they thought made a significant positive impact on the educational experience at Cambridge, in one of four categories including: inclusive practices, peer support, academic student representation, or student representation in College. Over 100 nominations were received.
Sharon and Ibz are each winners in the category of Inclusive Practices. They will both receive an engraved trophy and a certificate signed by Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor Education, Professor Graham Virgo.
Sharon received no fewer than five nominations! Here are a few excerpts from some of those nominations.
"Sharon is a final-year PhD student and established in her first year a fortnightly reading group at the Faculty of Education called Theorising Race and Racism in Education. Working with other students and staff, Sharon built an inclusive and dynamic space for students and staff of all disciplinary backgrounds and levels of expertise to come together to learn about key ideas in critical race scholarship."
"To give you a sense of her commitment: the reading group is running into its fourth year and has consistently met fortnightly during term time with excellent attendance. This has involved Sharon coordinating the reading lists, building a community through an email group and meeting with student/faculty groups across the university, and hosting social events. Through Sharon's energy and commitment, the reading group grew to become a research collective, hosting seminars with visiting speakers and being a hub for many spin-off activities across the university."
"Sharon worked diligently with the Equality and Diversity section to analyse the University's student and staff responses to the Race Equality surveys. Her outstanding analytical approach and brilliant presentation of the data supported educating the entire university on race equality issues at this institution. Her approach is thorough, heartfelt, evidence-based, warm and engaging."
One of two winners of the Inclusive Practice (Access and Outreach) award, Ibrahim Mohammed was "a significant driving force for the creation of this extra category of award."
"Since [receiving an offer from Wolfson College] Ibz has worked from the ground up to inspire change both locally and globally in helping Cambridge University become more accessible for prospective disadvantaged students. He has had an important role in many policy changes of Wolfson and has launched a number of access programmes for societies [in which he has been involved]. He has worked for the Central Admissions Office and during his time working on the Sutton Trust Summer School, he launched an 'Alumni of Colour panel' to motivate the prospective students, which has now become a permanent change for Sutton Trust."
"Ibz launched a YouTube channel called 'Ibz Mo', now with over 110,000 subscribers who follow him for advice and guidance on how to apply and survive at Cambridge. Many students of Cambridge have claimed that they are here "because of Ibz". His work was featured in The Guardian, Hackney Gazette, and the BBC, and has been a source of inspiration for the Communications section who have worked with him to create a number of videos."
"Ibz has launched a charity called 'BTYS Ltd' and is embarking on a tour of 100 state schools to help inspire young students across the UK, specifically the North of England, to apply to Cambridge. In November 2018 he worked with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala and hosted the first ever Oxbridge Pakistan Access Conference which was met with praise, and he also facilitated the first ever Cambridge Muslim Access Conference. Ibz has dedicated his life and time at Cambridge into making Cambridge and the education system as a whole more inclusive. I have seen his growth for the past 3 years and witnessed his impact on this university first-hand. He is a game-changer."
Many congratulations to Sharon and Ibz.