International Community Achievement Award

The International Community Achievement Award (ICAA) application period is now open. Applications and references are currently being accepted until June 30, 2024 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time). The ICAA Guidelines for the 2024-2025 academic year can be found here, as well as within our Nomination Form. 

ICAA Review Panel

The review panel may comprise a mix of professors from various faculties, a representative from the International Student Initiative portfolio, and a Global Engagement Office staff member. Recipients are notified by email.

Recipients 2023

2023-2024 International Community Achievement Award (ICAA) Winner Bios 

Annia Ferradas 

Annia is a Peruvian third-year student pursuing psychology and a sociology minor. She is passionate about intercultural fluency, community-building, advocacy and learning about equity, diversity and inclusion. Annia is involved on campus as an Executive member for the Latin American Students’ Organization (LASO), which has provided an opportunity to represent other Latinx student and address their challenges. Likewise, she has been a Jumpstart and Create orientation leader. Additionally, Annia has worked as Intercultural Development Program Facilitator for the Global Engagement Office. In this role, she loved interacting with students and creating safe spaces on campus, therefore she is currently pursuing her Co-op within this same office as Project Coordinator. Annia is also a Student Ambassador and values how close the team is and the positive influence this position can have on prospective students. This year, Annia is also part of a workshop organizing committee for the Canadian Council of Refugees’ Youth Action Gathering. She hopes to continue on to pursue a career that is people-based and addresses inequities with a hands-on approach. 

Geetika Sadarangani 

Geetika is a fourth year BA (hons.) Psychology major from India. At 17 she joined the UBCO community but completed her first year from home because of the pandemic. When she arrived at the campus for her second year, she strived to make the most of the opportunity by contributing to the campus and community. Geetika is passionate about being in touch and giving back to the community. She volunteers at the Parkinson Recreation Centre as a support staff for the access and preschool cooking classes. She also works at the Aberdeen Preparatory School as an after-school teacher for classes K-5. On campus, she is one of the events assistants for the Sex Positivity Resource Centre and the events coordinator for the Age-link club. Moreover, she was one of the Student Life Coaches with the Disability Resource Centre, working to help guide students on the spectrum through university life. With her ultimate goal being a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Geetika has also worked to increase her research experience by working as a volunteer with Dr. Jessica Lougheed in the Emotion Dynamics Lab, Dr. Lesly Lutes in the CORE lab and with Dr. Carolyn Szostak on a Covid study. 

Gustavo Muro Marchani 

Gustavo’s Peruvian roots nurtured a love for biology, shaped by the region’s rich biodiversity. With a foundation in general biology, he immersed himself in paleontology, ethnobotany, and biotechnology, evolving from a nature-observer to a solution-seeker driven by biology’s potential to address global crises. This journey led him to synthetic biology and the iGEM competition. Upon arriving at UBCO to pursue a BSc. in Molecular Biology, he found an avenue to explore opportunities that had been elusive in South America. As a freshman, he founded UBCO iGEM, fostering a community for biotech knowledge. His academic pursuits included an IURA in plant biotechnology in Mahmud’s lab and involvement in student-led research. His interdisciplinary team’s project LifeBulb won a gold medal in Paris representing UBCO at the largest Synbio competition. As a multifaceted artist – graphic designer, musician, and composer, he has shared his music with the community, playing across campus and Kelowna. As a singer and executive, Gus has also been involved in the acapella club, BEATS, performing and writing music for several performances. Gus continues working on new projects and opportunities for students eager to continue learning, combining science and art, and inspiring others. 

Harshita Gupta 

I am a fourth-year student doing honours in Psychology and a minor in Mathematics. I have always wanted to be a clinical psychologist as I have been fascinated by the human mind and behavior. I also work as a Get Involved leader at the Student Experience Office where I work towards creating volunteering opportunities for students both on and off campus. Volunteering with different organizations allows students to find their community away from their home and give back to society. I volunteered at the Living Positive Resource Centre, where I assisted individuals during drop-in hours. My duties involved distributing educational materials and discussing harm reduction strategies that could help prevent the spread of diseases and improve their overall well-being. Additionally, I am also involved on campus as the Secretary of the Indian Student Association and the VP Admin of the Red Cross Club at UBCO. Currently, I am also volunteering at the Social Interaction and Perception Lab with Dr. Lauren Human where we examine the causes and consequences of accurate social perception and expression. 

Rahman Ganiyu 

My name is Rahman Ganiyu, and I am a fifth-year Manufacturing Engineering student. I arrived in Canada for the first time in 2019, having been born into a bi-racial family in China where I grew up. My engagement with campus opportunities first began when I became a Jump Start leader in my second year. Although that year was entirely online, it was still a great experience that opened my eye to campus engagement. Following that, I became a Student Ambassador and have been one ever since, helping provide campus tours to fellow students interested in studying at UBCO. The following year, with the return to in-person classes, I became more involved on campus, becoming a peer mentor, collegia assistant, international peer as well as the Vice-President Internal of the Engineering Society. These experiences allowed me a deeper insight into the campus as well as greatly expanding my network on campus. Over the past year, I have been on Co-op terms, working with the manufacturing team in an electric vehicle company. The almost 16 months co-op experience has been greatly insightful, providing me with plenty of practical experience and reinforcing my knowledge for the final year of my degree in manufacturing.