WMU News

WMU student recognized for outstanding community service

May 18, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Sarah Husain, a Western Michigan University student from Portage, Mich., was recognized in April for her outstanding community service with a 2004 STAR Award.

A junior majoring in business and member of the Lee Honors College, Husain won the award for "College Volunteer" in the annual recognitions presented by the Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Gazette. Now in its 17th year, STAR--Sharing Time and Resources--honors volunteer community service in 10 categories.

A graduate of Portage Northern High School, Husain got into the Volunteen program at age 13 with the encouragement of her mother, Gulnar Husain. Since then, she has volunteered extensively at the Kalamazoo Islamic Sunday School, where she taught the history of Islamic civilization to middle school students.

Many of Husain's students turned to her about the difficulties they faced following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

"A lot of kids had comments made to them," Husain said. "It wasn't part of our curriculum, but the kids would bring these things up. We would take time out and talk. All these kids went to different schools, but they were having the same experience. A lot of kids had trouble with other kids asking, 'Are your mom and dad terrorists?' I explained there are a lot of problems with ignorance."

Husain encouraged her students to present Islam in a positive way by volunteering in their schools and communities. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, she began talking to college classes and other organizations about Islamic culture, history and beliefs.

Husain also volunteers at Arcadia Elementary School in Kalamazoo and is a member of WMU's Muslim Student Association.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Husain wants to pursue a master's degree in public health and would like to do an internship through the World Health Organization. Her longterm goals include a career as an administrator for a hospital or clinic.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400