The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Women’s Center has selected six student winners for its 2022 Women of Courage, Character and Commitment Award.
The award recognizes students, staff and faculty who have made positive impacts through personal, professional, mentoring or peer relationships. The winners were recognized and presented with the award during the Women’s History Month Celebration on March 24.
“A consistent theme in the nominations for these recipients was their advocacy, caring and work for inclusive excellence,” Pat Tetreault, director of the Women’s Center, said. “It is important for us to celebrate those who demonstrate their courage, character and commitment to help make the world a better place.”
Following is a list of student award honorees with their year in school, major(s) and college(s):
Rana Aribi, senior, business administration, College of Business — Aribi serves as president of the OASIS Student Advisory Board, where she leads 11 members and organizes events that promote diversity awareness, academic excellence and social engagement. She strives to make the board an inclusive and safe space for all by listening to and empowering her peers and aligning the organization’s goals toward equity and accessibility to opportunities.
Murphy Cavanaugh, first-year law student, College of Law — Cavanaugh serves as president of the Student Bar Association at Nebraska, where she connects students to resources that help them succeed in academic, personal and professional pursuits. She advocates for marginalized groups in the college and goes out of her way to make all students feel comfortable and accepted.
Meyri Ibrahim, junior, political science, College of Arts and Sciences; journalism, College of Journalism and Mass Communications — Ibrahim is president of the Black Student Union and a senator and campus life and safety co-chair for the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska. Through her leadership, she advocates for representation from different identities and backgrounds and creates an inclusive and accessible campus culture.
Cassandra Neal, graduate student, educational administration, College of Education and Human Sciences — Neal serves as an assistant residence director for University Housing and adviser for international students and helps the Women’s Center and LGBTQA+ Center. Through her leadership, she advocates for marginalized groups and promotes women’s rights and success.
Liv O’Clair, junior, psychology, College of Arts and Sciences — O’Clair is a resident assistant for University Housing, where she empowers students on her floor through creative and educational events. She advocates for women’s rights and shows strong ethics and empathy in her interactions with all students, especially her fellow resident assistants.
Izdihar (Vianne) Sheikh, senior, emerging media arts, Hixon-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts — Sheikh served as a social worker in northern Iraq, where she documented the mental health of Yazidi genocide survivors and advocated for the recognition of missing persons and destruction caused by ISIS. She came to Lincoln as a refugee and enrolled at the university in 2017, where she now raises awareness of the Yazidi genocide and works as a photojournalist with several international agencies.