September 28, 2022
With the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Award, Jacobs University Bremen honors international students who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance and exemplary social commitment. This year, Yumna Faisal made it to first place and was awarded the prestigious prize, which was presented by Jacobs University President Professor Fabio Pammolli.
"Yumna embodies what Jacobs University stands for. Namely, enabling its students to realize their true potential," said Dr. Karen Smith Stegen, Professor of Political Science, who nominated her student for the award. 21-year-old Yumna is an Indian national, who is born and brought up in Saudi Arabia. The second year International Relations: Politics & History student made her way to Bremen with the want to make an impact: "My dream is to build bridges, between cultures, genders and societies," she said. In order to realize this dream, she decided to study at Jacobs University.
The DAAD prize is renowned for its symbolism and character: every year for the past ten years, the prize has been awarded to international students at German institutions. With a 1000 EUR prize, the award targets individuals with extraordinary social engagement and excellent academics. Just one student is selected per institution.
At Jacobs University, Yumna became involved with the Women’s International Leadership Conference, among other events. This year, it was dedicated to the topic of "Women in Politics and Diplomacy." She was Secretary of the Speaker’s Committee at the student-run conference, and was attended by Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman, among others. For Global Review, a student-run weekly publication, she also serves as regional editor.
And Yumna doesn’t stop there. She is also dedicated to improving conditions on the ground in Bremen-Vegesack, as a Social Media and Marketing Specialist for the Local Change Makers Club at Jacobs University. The goal of the project is to support and fund companies or ideas that help solve challenges in the region. But public engagement alone does not warrant the award- Yumna also exhibits excellent academic performance. She performs with the top of her class with a grade point average of 1.33.
“I am extremely grateful to Professor Karen Smith Stegen for nominating me. Receiving this award inspires and motivates me to improve myself and perform better throughout my academic journey,” said Yumna after being awarded the prize.