It was just a casual conversation with a fellow UWindsor graduate student, but one Shayan Shirzadian will always remember.
He and engineering doctoral candidate Hamidreza Setareh Kokab, both international students, talked about living in Canada. Setareh Kokab was happy to offer advice.
“My overall feeling from our conversation was that I was joining a community with great people who love to help,” Shirzadian says. “It left an impression on me.”
A month later, Shirzadian was shocked to learn Setareh Kokab’s life was taken in a plane crash in Iran while returning to campus for the winter semester. The incident claimed the lives of all 176 on board, including four other members of UWindsor’s community — engineering doctoral candidates Pedram Jadidi and Zahra Naghibi, her spouse Mohammad Abbaspour Ghadi, and biology research assistant Samira Bashiri.
An immediate outpouring of support from the UWindsor community and general public followed to establish the Iranian Students Memorial Scholarship - Remembering Flight PS752, a graduate scholarship that will annually support two international students conducting vital research in the faculties of engineering and science.
Shirzadian, an MASc student, is honoured to be the first recipient.
“This scholarship is important to me because it helps keep alive the memory of our friends and shows the world that we will never forget them,” he says. “I hope I can continue their dreams of making the world a better place to live in.”
Read the full story, “Iranian student honoured to be first recipient of memorial scholarship for plane crash victims,” on the engineering website.