Alumni-Supported Students ‘Pay it Forward’

June 8, 2017

It’s been a busy year for CEU’s Alumni Scholarship Recipients (ASRs), who balanced their studies with volunteer projects to aid fellow students and bolster the community. Projects included blogs and online advising for potential and incoming students, plus career workshops, a campus accessibility study and more.

Many ASRs wrote for the CEU Student Space blog, contributing stories about student life in Budapest, cultural events, and more. Intended partly for prospective students, the blog was organized by Benjamin Hayward (HIST ’17, Canada) and Rafatu Asipita Mohammed (LEGS ’17, Nigeria).

Sanjay Sharma (POLS ’17, Nepal) organized the CEU Student Buddy page, where a team of student ‘buddies’ answer questions about CEU from newly-accepted students from around the world. Angelita Bombarda (SPP ’18, Philippines) organized a country-specific FAQ sheet for new students, while Nataliia Kovalchuk (GENS ’18, Ukraine) helped recruit students from her country by producing articles and video for online Ukrainian newspapers.

To assess campus accessibility for those with physical disabilities, six ASRs performed an audit of CEU buildings and interviewed those with accessibility needs as part of the CEU Inclusive project; a report and brochure are forthcoming. Stephen Westlake (HIST ’18, U.K.) used his career coach experience to help organize a Career Workshop, including one-on-one consultations with students seeking work in the U.K. Maad Sharaf (SPP ’18, Yemen) and Shwetha Nair (MESPOM ’18, India) coordinated cultural programs, such as the annual CEU Open Mic.

Alumni giving supported 25 ASRs from around the world this year, who were selected based upon their past community service and potential for post-graduation leadership in CEU’s alumni community. Alumni support for ASRs, via the generation fund of the Alumni Campaign, enables ASR to study at CEU but also has a trickledown effect, as ASRs volunteer their time and talent to the CEU community.

“Projects like this go beyond monetary value,” said Dursun Halimova (SPP ’15, Turkmenistan), coordinator of the program and a former ASR herself.

“They ‘pay it forward.’”