The inaugural recipient of a scholarship aimed at developing leadership on campus and in the community is a perfect example of both, says UWindsor chancellor Mary Jo Haddad.
She selected second-year law student Hana Syed (BSc 2015, MA 2018) from almost 200 applicants for the $2,000 Telus Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship, created through a gift by the telecommunications company in support of the Chancellor’s Leadership Series.
“Hana’s personal leadership achievements and her vision for the future makes her an outstanding choice as the first student to receive this prestigious award,” Haddad says. “She has demonstrated commitment to the four pillars we have identified as key: innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, diversity.”
Syed is the co-founder of Global Youth Impact — a non-profit organization focused on empowering youth change-makers locally and globally through workshops, community engagement, and campaigns including entrepreneurship, human rights, the environment, and mental health — and led the Canadian delegation at the United Nations’ Youth Assembly on the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.
Her research for the Windsor Law Centre for Cities policy paper “States of Emergency: Decision-making and Participatory Governance in Canadian municipalities during COVID-19” focused on the unequal impact the pandemic has had on BIPOC communities and recommended legislative reforms. Syed also volunteers as a caseworker for Community Legal Aid.
She performs in a band with her siblings, DEYSofficial, raising awareness on issues relating to human rights and labour. Their song Champions won gold at the 2019 World Championship of the Performing Arts.
She says she is honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship.
“I am grateful for an award that recognizes — and in turn encourages — intersectional leadership,” says Syed. “Personally, it’s exciting to be living in a time when we are challenging norms and changing the faces of mainstream leadership.”
UWindsor alumnus Eros Spadotto (BASc 1984), executive vice-president of technology strategy for Telus, extended congratulations to Syed on behalf of the sponsor.
“The work Hana is doing is truly remarkable, and is helping drive powerful and positive social outcomes,” Spadotto said. “Our students of today are Canada’s leaders of the future and it’s humbling to see how Hana and the University of Windsor’s Chancellor’s Leadership series are fostering leadership development. As a University of Windsor graduate, I am truly proud.”