23 July 2010

Indian competition winner graduates with top degree

An Indian student, who won the chance to study at the University of Sheffield in a reality TV show in his home country, graduated on 22 July 2010 with a first-class degree in Functional Genomics and Stem Cell Science.

Caezaan Keshvani, 20, from Mumbai, India, beat off fierce competition in the Airtel Scholar Hunt: Destination UK to be offered a place to study Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield.

During his three years studying at the University Caezaan has proved himself to be an exceptional student, with consistently high grades and a passion and dedication for science and research. A hardworking student, Caezaan was one of only seven students chosen to undertake a research project in his third year. As part of his research Caezaan worked in identifying subsets of human embryonic stem cells.

As well as his academic achievements, Caezaan has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to a number of extra-curricular activities, spending much of his spare time volunteering and representing other students on various committees.

During his time at the University, Caezaan was Chair of the International Students Welfare Committee, liaising with various student societies to ensure fair international student representation. He also led numerous student volunteering projects, including Art in the Park and the Reindeer Project, and was a Residential Mentor in the University’s Halls of Residence for two years.

Soon Caezaan will head to State University of New York where he will begin a PhD in Regenerative Medicine – an area he is incredibly passionate about. Caezaan then hopes to apply his research directly to the medical profession.

Caezaan said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the UK and studying at the University of Sheffield. This was my first time out of India and I really didn’t know what to expect.

“I have made lots of friends and I have become much more independent. Although my degree was challenging I found it incredibly interesting, particularly the third year where I was able to specialise and carry out research. My tutors at the University have supported me every step of the way and I am incredibly grateful for their help and guidance. This has been such a fantastic opportunity and one that I will never forget.”

Professor Matthew Holley, Head of the University’s Department of Biomedical Science, is incredibly proud of Caezaan’s achievements and has high hopes for his future. He said: "Caezaan has been an inspiration. He has shown just how much a student can achieve in terms of academic and personal development throughout a three-year degree and has made substantial contributions to student life and to the wider community.”

He added: "I am delighted that he joined the Department of Biomedical Science and wish him every success in the future.”