SFU is being recognized for its deep and ongoing relationships in India and with the local South Asian community. Surrey-based Drishti Magazine has presented the university with its Excellence in Community Engagement Award.
The award recognizes the university’s commitment to its India Strategy, which was developed more than a decade ago and supports a wide range of initiatives that benefit students and the broader community.
The announcement was made during the magazine’s recent annual awards gala, which also saw a trio of SFU students/alumni recognized for a variety of accomplishments.
For its community engagement honour, SFU was cited for its contributions “to the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the communities that it serves.”
The India Strategy is supported by the SFU-India Advisory Council, currently co-chaired by former Attorney-General Wally Oppal and SFU President Andrew Petter.
Oppal and Arun Garg, the council’s first co-chair and current member, presented the award. “It is a great personal pleasure and privilege to recognize a very special initiative in our community with Simon Fraser University,” said Garg, medical director of Fraser Health's South Asian Health Institute. “This engagement galvanized SFU’s involvement with our community.
“Under the leadership of Joanne Curry, VP External Relations and former SFU Surrey campus executive director, and President Andrew Petter, this engagement has taken deep roots,” says Garg. “I have seen up close how dedicated they and the SFU team have been in building true links.” The SFU team includes Nav Chima, director of community partnerships,who was instrumental in connecting SFU to a number of major community projects for mutual benefit.
SFU’s India Strategy provides a strategic framework to guide academic programming, support relevant research, and deepen community engagement.
The result has been collaborative opportunities for students, scholars, researchers and businesses in B.C. as well as in India, to engage in projects which support joint-academic-research initiatives, practicum and co-op placements, student recruitment and exchanges, and programs supporting business and trade relations.