Sameera Fazili '00 learned yesterday that all of her hard work as president of the Harvard Islamic Society, director of the Harvard World United Nations and member of a number of other groups has not gone unnoticed.
She said she was "surprised and excited" to learn the College has awarded her the third annual Harvard College Women's Leadership Award, commemorating her role in providing strong female leadership on campus.
Two other students, Kamil E. Redmond '00 and Elizabeth D. Chao '01, received honorable mentions.
"Sameera is a real dynamo," Associate Dean of the College Karen E. Avery '87 said in a press release. "She has risen to the position of president of the Islamic Society, which is most impressive considering the group's very conservative attitude toward women."
Fazili said she spends most of her time working with the Islamic Society, which she described as "her life."
"It means a lot to me," she said.
A committee of five faculty members and administrators including Avery selected the award winners.
The application process is rigorous.
According to a press release, the committee gives the prize to a junior or senior who has "demonstrated exceptional leadership while attending Harvard, contributed to the advancement of women, achieved a meaningful impact on fellow students, and exhibited a potential for leadership in future endeavors."
Fazili said she could never have predicted she would be the committee's choice.
"There are so many other women in this class who are great," Fazili said.
She also said it feels good to be appreciated.
"I think this award is nice because it recognizes leaders in this University," Fazili said. "And it's nice to feel appreciated."
Redmond echoed these sentiments in saying the award "recognizes women who do something."
"The award is important as a symbol for female leaders on campus," said Redmond, who added that the selection committee made a good choice in Fazili.
Fazili, Redmond and Chao will be honored April 18 at a dinner and ceremony at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Fazili will also receive a stipend.