26 July 2007

Former Union President awarded Chancellor’s Medal

Photo: Harsh Srivastav receiving the Chancellor's Medal

The University of Sheffield awarded its annual Chancellor’s Medal to a former Students’ Union President at last week’s graduation ceremonies. Harsh Srivastav, who was the first international student in 25 years to be elected Union President, received the annual prize on Wednesday 18 July, in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to University life.

Harsh, 22, who is originally from Lucknow in India, started at the University in 2003 and graduated this year with a BEng in Electrical Engineering. During his four years in the city, he has taken every opportunity to get involved and make a difference. He was an active member of various societies, including the Indian Society, the Mexican and Latin American Society and the African and Caribbean Society, as well as the University Hockey Club. He has also been involved with numerous voluntary organisations, giving up much of his free time to help them.

His most significant achievement came in his second year when he was elected the first international Union President for 25 years. During his year-long term, he participated in the introduction of a number of new initiatives, including the Sheffield Graduate Award and degrees with Work Experience. Through his high profile "Sssh" campaign, to improve student behaviour in the surrounding area, he also became a well-respected figure in the local community.

Harsh also worked to promote the University further afield, and at the end of his term of office he completed a tour of India, giving talks and media conferences to promote the University of Sheffield to prospective students. He has pledged to do this again this year.

Harsh said, “It was a big surprise, and a great honour, to find out I had won this important award. I am elated that my contributions to University life have been recognised and I am proud that I have made a difference. Coming from India, completing my degree here is a massive achievement for me and to win this award rounds off what has been an incredible time for me here in Sheffield.”