AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University senior Azeem Ahmed has been named winner of the 2014 President William Jefferson Clinton Hunger Leadership Award, an honor presented to only one university student worldwide each year.
“We are excited that Azeem’s passion for tackling global hunger has been recognized in this award,” said Melissa Baumann, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “He has dedicated his undergraduate studies and extracurricular activities to understanding and alleviating the roots of hunger. This speaks to Auburn’s land-grant mission to improve the lives of Alabamians as well as people around the world.”
The announcement was made recently by the Stop Hunger Now organization and the North Carolina State University Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service. Ahmed will be presented with the award at the Universities Fighting World Hunger summit on the Auburn campus Feb. 28-March 2.
Created to honor former President Bill Clinton for his commitment to humanitarian causes, especially his commitment to eradicating hunger, the award criteria include demonstrated leadership in the fight against hunger and a commitment to a life of service in the areas of hunger and poverty reduction.
“I’m honored to be named this year’s recipient,” said Ahmed, who will graduate in August with a major in finance and minor in sustainability. “I am thankful to my family, friends, mentors and professors, especially Dr. Paul Harris, Dr. Harriet Giles and Professor Douglas Coutts for their years of support and commitment to helping students make our world a better place.”
Ahmed, who grew up in Auburn, is the president of the university’s Committee of 19, a group dedicated to fighting world hunger; vice president for the Campus Kitchen Project; a past vice president of the Honors Congress; a Community and Civic Engagement undergraduate fellow; and a lifetime member of the American Red Cross and past president of its Auburn University chapter.
He traveled to Egypt in 2011 as a World Food Programme intern to help develop a national food program, conducting more than 40 field visits and certifying enough mills to produce 250,000 tons of vitamin-enriched rice. In 2012 he worked in Bangladesh with the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research. In 2013 he was awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of the nation’s top academic awards bestowed on college juniors, being one of only 62 recipients nationwide and the only recipient from the state of Alabama.
Harriet Giles, managing director of the Hunger Solutions Institute within Auburn’s College of Human Sciences, said, “As a young adult, he has demonstrated both the scholastic aptitude, as well as the interpersonal skills, to be an innovator and leader who will contribute greatly to ending hunger in his generation’s lifetime.”
Ahmed had to go through a lengthy application process for the award. First, he had to develop a video which detailed his vision for a world without hunger. After a panel of judges reviewed each video entry, five finalists from across the nation were selected.
As a finalist, Ahmed had to write three essays addressing his involvement in the fight against hunger; his thoughts on the current state of hunger related policy and hunger relief; and his vision for continued efforts in the fight against hunger.
“Azeem is eager and willing to use his skills to make the world a better place for the billion of the world’s population who live from hand to mouth in unsustainable environments,” said Paul Harris, associate director for prestigious national scholarships. “He is going places and he will leave a lasting mark. The Auburn Family can take great pride in him.”
More information about the President William Jefferson Clinton Hunger Leadership Award is available at http://csleps.dasa.ncsu.edu/leadership/clinton.
(Written by Charles Martin.)