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Student Awards

Student Awards
During the 2013 Communication Days, the Department honored outstanding members of its community with several awards.

Naazlin Dadani, who graduated with her B.A. from the Department in 2002, received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Naazlin’s various positions since her graduation have focused on providing critical services to youth, crime victims, and refugees with an emphasis on empowerment, education, and career development. Locally, she worked as a victim advocate with the Aurora Police Department, where she accompanied victims to court and informed them about their legal rights, and she coordinated training and empowerment programs for refugees and clients of the Adams County Choices program. Abroad, she served as the program manager of the Society of Safe Environment and Welfare in Pakistan, overseeing 12 programs that addressed water and sanitation, food relief, food security, and the building of shelters and schools. She was also a case worker for the State Department in refugee camps across sub-Saharan Africa. Naazlin was unable to attend the award ceremony because she currently works at the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program Resettlement Support Center in The Netherlands.  Her award was accepted for her by her parents, Badrudin and Shamin Dadani.

Two students were the recipients of the Lael Porter Award for Community Service, which honors outstanding community service by an undergraduate student. Mouath Baesho served as a translator and interpreter between foreign patients and staff at various hospitals, worked as a political canvasser, and volunteered with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Much of his service, however, has contributed to his native Libya. He participated in and served as a consultant for the World Federation of Democratic Youth in Libya, a United Nations educational, scientific, and cultural organization. He also served as the Libyan representative to and spokesperson for the International Youth Organization and helped to develop the process by which Libya hosted the first IYO summit held in a developing country. Mouath was recognized for his work by a Peace Messenger Award from the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Also receiving the Lael Porter Award for Community Service was Misty Saribal, whose community service has focused on the Colorado prison community. She was one of the student tutors who participated in a semester-long English and poetry class at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. She also helped coordinate the annual Captured Words, Free Thoughts magazine published by UC-Denver that features works written by people who are serving time in prisons across the country. Misty co-directed a skit for the Romero Troupe’s Voices of the Struggle about juvenile lifers, which starred two mothers whose sons are serving long prison sentences. In addition, she spent the past year collecting art work created by Colorado prisoners, which was displayed in an art exhibition on campus during the Art of Social Justice week.

The Robley Rhine Student Leadership Award, which recognizes leadership in the Communication Department, was presented to Gordon B. Hamby. Gordon is a senior at UC-Denver who is this year’s student body president, where he regularly demonstrates his communication skills and organizational abilities. Gordon contributes in other ways as well to the university community. He has served as a mentor to incoming freshmen with the Peer Advocate Leader group, a mentor for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund chapters, and president of the Ethnic Studies student organization. He also serves as a mentor for the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation. Gordon’s outreach and advocacy efforts have been recognized with UC-Denver’s Rosa Parks Diversity Award.

Winner of the Sonja K. Foss Award for Academic Excellence was Samantha Miles, who is graduating with a joint degree in communication and political science with a GPA of 3.89. This award honors outstanding academic work by an undergraduate, and Samantha was recognized for her seminar paper on the status of women and the feminization of poverty in post-revolutionary Egypt. Samantha’s academic accomplishments were supplemented by her efforts to educate herself globally. She engaged in service learning in Guatemala and studied Arabic in Morocco and Tunisia. She served as a fellow at the Institute for International Policy Studies and participated in the Howard University Sophomore Summer Policy Institute. Closer to home, she worked with women’s groups all over campus and served as a tutor at the Denver Women’s Prison.