Sadiqa Basiri Saleem FP '09, an international relations major, received Mount Holyoke's distinguished Presidential Scholar Award from President Joanne V. Creighton on May 23. Last awarded in 2006, the award is given "from time to time to a graduating senior who has demonstrated both outstanding academic achievement and outstanding leadership in the community."
Basiri Saleem is the founder of six schools now educating nearly 3,000 girls and women in her homeland of Afghanistan. This spring, she was among six women--including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton--presented with awards by the Vital Voices Global Partnership in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; she and her work are now the subject of a video (see link below) produced by Vital Voices. She has since also won the prestigious Samuel Huntington Public Service Award to support a new leadership training program she plans to establish this year in Afghanistan.
Basiri Saleem has since been the subject of a feature article in the May 1 issue of Newsweek and a May 21 interview with the BBC's The World Today.