(April 24, 2020) – Several College of Engineering students and one COE student organization were honored at the 44th Annual UTSA University Life Awards on Thursday, April 23. The University Life Awards recognize outstanding students, student organizations, staff and faculty for their contributions to the quality of student life at UTSA.
College of Engineering students honored at the awards ceremony include:
COE Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Mikayla Rahman
The outstanding undergraduate from the College of Engineering is Miss Mikayla Rhaman. Mikayla is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering. She has served as an undergraduate researcher in the biophontics and imaging lab and RISE-2 research trainee in the Regenerative Medicine and Device Innovation Lab. In 2019, she was a summer Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences working in the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Lab. She served as Vice President of External Affairs in the Biomedical Engineering Society and was both a Dean’s Ambassador and a College of Engineering Ambassador.
COE Outstanding Graduate Student: Syed Hasib Akhter Faruqui
The College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student is Mr. Syed Hasib Akhter Faruqui. Mr. Faruqui’s research is on machine learning and data analytics with application in predictive modeling in control of multiple chronic conditions. He has published five papers in reputable journals and has two manuscripts under review. Syed is a finalist for the Best Poster Award of the Quality Control and Reliability Engineering Division of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Annual Conference of 2019.
Outstanding Student from Honors College: Christian Strong
The Outstanding Student from the Honors College is Mr. Christian Strong. Christian is a junior chemical engineering major and Top Scholar. He has conducted exceptional research with Mr. Doug Frantz. He recently won the Think Swiss award to study in Zurich. A Goldwater nominee, Christian has led multiple alternative breaks, including spearheading the program to Puerto Rico and plans to lead one next winter that focuses on elder care. Christian embodies our Honors College ethos across different pursuits. He is a scientist, a musician, and an artist.
Outstanding Registered Student Organization: Biomedical Engineering Society
This year’s Outstanding Registered Student Organization Award goes to the organization that has demonstrated the greatest single impact on this campus over the year. This year’s Outstanding RSO Award goes to the Biomedical Engineering Society. The mission of the Biomedical Engineering Society is to help integrate its members into the UTSA community as well as foster an environment for professional development, community service, and social interactions. Volunteering activities include Diploma Dash, UTSA Day, science outreach at Rawlinson Middle School, and the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio. The organization strives to support and share the experience of the top notch quality of campus life that students can expect at UTSA. In addition, the organization hosts an annual symposium with an average of 150 students attending, faculty members, and industrial representatives. Here, the students learn from the experience of the faculty members and get an opportunity to present research conducted at UTSA as well as network with industry professionals.
Outstanding Residential Assistant: Ayia Aburahmah
Miss Ayia Aburahman is a biomedical engineering major and will be graduating this spring. Working as a residential assistant has been one of the highlights of her college career. Seeing how impactful she can be on all of her residents over the past three years will be one of the things she will definitely miss about UTSA.
Outstanding Sophomore: Yohannes Akiel
Mr. Yohannes Akiel a UTSA Top Scholar who has conducted research in Dr. Guda’s Tissue Engineering Lab, designing different kinds of scaffolds to determine which type is best suitable for cell proliferation for bone regeneration. Yohannes is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the volunteer organization involving community education services or voices.
Outstanding Senior: Grace Adedipe
Miss Grace Adedipe served as 2019 Miss UTSA and was cofounder and President of the Pre-Student Osteophathic Medical Association, Pre-SOMA. This year alone, Pre-SOMA was able to raise over $600 in funds and volunteer regularly at The San Antonio Children’s Shelter and The Ronald McDonald House. Grace was a Spring 2019 UTSA President’s Inclusive Scholarship recipient and served as Event’s Coordinator for the National Society of Black Engineers and is both Back Student Orientation Chair and Black Homecoming Liaison. She also volunteers at the San Antonio State Hospital, playing games with the patients.
Outstanding Graduate Student: Adnan Shahriar
Mr. Adnan Shahriar has published articles in a number of scholarly journals and has presented at several conferences, including the Earth and Space 2020 Conference, where he co-presented the work: Development of a Computational Framework for the Design of Resilient Space Structures. Adnan was awarded the Valero New Ph.D. Competitive Research Scholarship Award in Spring 2017.
Jane Findling Award: Hunter Kim and Tristan Pepper
This award is named for Jane Findling Burton, the first Director of Student Activities at UTSA and specifically recognizes exceptional student contributions over the 2019-2020 academic year.
Hunter Kim served as 2019 Mr. UTSA. As part of his platform, he created three new major campus events: Trick or Treat on the Paseo, Finals Week Hide and Go Seek, and UTSA Painting with a Twist. Hunter received both the UTSA Ambassador of the Year Award and the UTSA Ambassadors Century Mark Award for serving over 100 hours during a given year. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Engineering Honors Award, the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship, the Betty Halff Endowed Scholarship, and the UTSA Presidents Inclusive Excellence Scholarship. He won first place at the Civtech SA Ideathon and Best Student Project Award at the Via Code-a-thon. He also serves as a Resident Assistant, as Vice President of Runners for Christ, as Secretary of the Council of Student Organizations, and Chief Operating Officer of Sustainable Youth in Action.
Tristan Pepper is a freshman UTSA Top Scholar and received both Esteemed Pre-PhD Scholarship, and an American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering Annual Public Policy and Biological Engineering Conference Travel Award. He also was awarded one of seven undergraduate research opportunities to participate in the NIH-funded Competitive Academic Research Program. Tristan has presented at the San Antonio Military Health Systems and University Research Forum, the 2019 Biomedical Engineering Symposium at UTSA, and the 2019 Inaugural Artificial Intelligence Summit held at UTSA. He has been selected to present at the Biological Engineering Institute Rising Leaders Conference in D.C. He’s also a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Men’s Soccer Club, and the Roadrunner Power Lifting Club. He also volunteers at Santo Nino Catholic Church, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of South Texas, and served on an alternative spring break trip at Camp Summit.