Outstanding Graduating Student Award in Anthropology and Usamah Ansari Top Student Award
I am incredibly honoured and grateful to have received these awards in recognition of my time at SFU. My interest in anthropology, and its approaches to studying people and culture, expanded with each course I took. Professors and texts introduced me to human stories across the world, and encouraged me to be self-reflective at the same time. In reading about any other person, I learned more about myself and reflected on how I have been influenced by my own culture. Anthropology has given me the ability to recognise that each of us is constantly shaping, and being shaped by, our interactions with the world and to consider how these individual stories form larger narratives.
I continually notice the ways in which studying anthropology comes through in my daily life. I see myself being more considerate, empathetic, and inquisitive in my interactions with people and more able to understand alternative perspectives. It has also increased my interest in learning about as many cultures as I can. Since graduating I have spent time traveling, which has been a great opportunity to employ what I have learned at SFU as I met new people from various backgrounds. Through understanding how so much of what I am comfortable with had been normalised by my culture, anthropology has allowed me to be open to new food, new customs, and new experiences.
My success as an undergraduate has motivated me to return to university to complete my Master’s degree in the future. I currently work with children and youth in my community, and am interested in studying socialisation and identity formation of school-aged children. I would like to thank the Department of Sociology and Anthropology for providing this award and supporting the education of students like myself.