Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Graduation and Leadership Awards (APIDA GALA)

Friday, May 7, 2021 | 6 p.m.

Asian Pacific Islander and Desi American Graduation and Leadership Awards (APIDA GALA) celebrates the outstanding achievements, accomplishments and contributions of individual student leaders, organizations and graduates of the APIDA community at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. This event also celebrates the accomplishments of our APIDA graduates. We invite all members of the Rutgers community to register and attend the event and nominate a student leader, organization, or event.

Award Nominations

Graduating Stellar Seniors

The Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) would like to recognize graduating seniors (as of May 2021 or December 2021) who worked closely with the AACC along with those who have been heavily involved in the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community at Rutgers. Individuals can be current/past presidents, executive board members, general members, or an APIDA student at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The AACC will celebrate the Stellar Seniors with stoles and recognize them during Virtual APIDA GALA as a token of appreciation.

We invite students to self-nominate or nominate a graduating APIDA student as a Stellar Senior. Please provide the correct mailing address of the student to receive the stole.

Please submit the Stellar Senior form by April 29, 2021 at 12 p.m. 

Award Nominations

The APIDA GALA 2021 celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of individual students and organizational programming in the Asian American community. There are two individual awards and six program/group awards. All faculty, staff, student organization leaders, and individual students are welcomed to nominate a student organization or an individual. The award recipients will be announced during the virtual APIDA GALA. 

Student Organization Awards

This award honors a performing arts program/event or a performing group that exemplifies excellence in any performing art such as dance, singing, acting, etc. This event or the group should be nominated for showcasing talent and dedication to the APIDA community in a unique fashion and/or for showcasing their talents on the Rutgers stage and beyond.

This award recognizes the paramount achievement of a registered student organization over the year that causes the group to stand out as compared to others. The recipient demonstrates commitment to the organization’s purpose and the general membership, but also contributes to the Rutgers community as a whole. The recipient will have demonstrated a high level of achievement in many areas, including membership involvement, organization development, leadership training and opportunity, active participation in Rutgers campus activities, and community service. collaboration with other campus organizations or events. The recipient of the award will receive $250 to use for the organization’s programming for Academic year 2021- 2022.

This award recognizes an organization that excelled in educating members of the Rutgers Community through a coordinated program or project. The program should address the ability to make positive change, connect to larger social issues and make a difference in the community.

This award honors a program for its commitment to educating others on a culture, particularly through unique programming showcasing authentic aspects of the culture. The recipient of this award should demonstrate this cultural authenticity through various outlets such as performing arts, clothing, and ethnic foods.

This award aims to recognize a program that committed to the philanthropic organization’s purpose and the community served by the organization. The nomination should display exemplary results in raising awareness and donations toward a cause, and sincere passion and dedication to philanthropic work.

This program is aimed to recognized a virtual program that with high attendance and engagement during this pandemic. The virtual program nomination can be in any category including academic, social, financial, wellness, or performing arts and it must demonstrate high engagement during the event.

Student Leader Awards

The Student Leader of the Year Award recognizes a model student who integrated academic excellence with other aspects of their lives. The recipient of this award maintained a high GPA while also holding an impressive array of extra-curricular accomplishments which may include the arts, leadership positions, involvement in student and/or community organizations, career achievement, athletics, and community service. This student should have outstanding service to their recognized student organization(s) with their vision, leadership and ability to meet the goals of their student organization(s). The recipient of this award will receive a $500 award to use toward their leadership & career journey.

This award celebrates a graduating senior who has demonstrated exemplary leadership through their work with the Rutgers APIDA community. The recipient of this award should have demonstrated leadership qualities both in and out of academic spaces, is an active member within the Rutgers APIDA community, served in leadership roles in student and community organizations, and has worked actively to advocate for APIDA issues.

Featured Senior Speaker: Mufrad Ahmed

Hi, my name is Mufrad but most people know me by my nickname Moofy. I’m a senior at Rutgers with a major in Asian Studies and minor in South Asian Studies. I consider the AACC my second home and have been involved within it in various capacities. From being a manager, to peer mentor to being a part of Asian Student Council and even becoming a Senior Intern. I loved all the experiences I gained with the AACC. With all my time spent at the center and getting to know the community more, I found my passion to be related to student affairs. I love working with students and want to continue that as a career path, so I decided to go to grad school for higher education. For the upcoming fall semester, I’ll be enrolled in the Rutgers College Student Affairs program as a graduate student. I’m hoping to see old and new faces alike when we return to campus.

APIDA GALA Speakers: AACC Interns

Banni Anand, Daniel Au, Amani Syed, and Gibson Nguyen

Peer Mentor Program – Student Coordinators

Armeen Khan, Feba Kottackakam, Donna Tran

Student Managers

AACC would like to give a special THANK YOU to AACC Managers. Your leadership and dedication to AACC is outstanding.

Download Virtual Zoom Background

Download and use a free virtual Zoom background to show your APIDA GALA pride!
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We invite all members of the Rutgers community to register to attend the event!

Check out our virtual graduate stole/sash on Snapchat!

Be sure to tag @RUAACC when you share on social!
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