Three UvA students have been nominated for an ECHO Award 2021, a price for successful students from groups that are under-represented in The Netherlands. Rosie Zheng and Julia van Oosten are finalists for the STEM Award. Assamaual Saidi is finalist for the Loyens & Loeff Law & Tax Award.
In order to be nominated for an ECHO Award, students have to distinguish themselves in their entrepreneurial attitude, organisational skills, active social engagement and their constructive approach to challenges related to exclusion. Assamaual, Rosie and Julia have distinguished themselves in each of these areas.
Assamaual Saidi is a Dutch Law and Political Science student at the UvA. In his first year he initiated and co-founded the first Islamic student association at the UvA and last academic year he was a member of the Central Student Council. Assamaual is committed to an inclusive culture within the university in which difference is celebrated, instead of suppressed, and in which everyone is free – but also feels free - to express their identity according to their own insights and preferences, equally when it concerns a religious identity.
Rosie Zheng was born in China and has lived in the Netherlands since she was three years old. She studied Psychology and AI at the UvA and started studying Cognitive Neuroscience and AI at the Radboud University this year. She strives for an environment in which all people, regardless of gender and ethnicity, are treated respectfully and are able to get the same opportunities, by combating racism towards Asian people and stimulating gender diversity in STEM. She does this by handling incidents, creating connection and awareness, and focusing on representation.
Julia van Oosten recently graduated at the UvA with a Master's in Information Systems and currently is a Master's student in Applied Data Science at Utrecht University. Julia’s vision on diversity and inclusion is that representation is important. In her role as mentor for students Information Systems, teaching assistent and secretary Sociëteitsbeheer at student rowing association Skøll, she tries to serve as a positive role model for prospective students with a migration background, women, but also other students. She wants universities to ensure a diverse population of teachers/role models, so every student can recognise themselves in these role models.
The winners will be announced during the ECHO Award ceremony taking place 7 December 2021. The winners in the four different categories (ECHO Award WO, ECHO Award hbo, Loyens & Loeff Law & Tax Award and the Stem Award) will win a 6-week summer course at UCLA in the United States.
ECHO, the national Expertise Centre for Diversity Policy, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in (higher) education and in the job market. Through the ECHO Award, the organisation visibilises outstanding students from non-Western backgrounds who contribute to equal opportunities for all. ECHO is a full partner of the Chief Diversity Officer team at the University of Amsterdam.