Shabnam Mirsaeedi Farahani, winner of the 2005 Barlow Trophy, holds the tropy. To her right is Dr. Saundra Tracy, president of Alma College, and to Mirsaeedi Farahani's left are her parents.
Alma College senior Shabnam Mirsaeedi Farahani of Midland topped her academic career well recognized. She earned the Barlow Trophy, an Outstanding Senior Leadership Award, Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) Outstanding Community Impact Award, and appeared in Alma College television advertising across the state.
The television ads featured Mirsaeedi Farahani, Jon Behring and Stacey Kowal touting the benefits of an Alma education. Running mostly in Alma’s target markets of Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids, the spots were designed by Richard Harrison Bailey: The Agency to enhance Alma’s visibility and assist marketing efforts. The ads won a Gold Medal in the 2005 Admissions Marketing Report 20th Annual Admissions Advertising Awards.
The Barlow Trophy, Alma’s most prestigious award for a graduating senior, was presented at Alma s annual Honors Convocation Thursday, April 7. The award recognizes academic achievement for a graduating senior in the top 10 percent of the class as well as the student’s contributions to campus and community. The Barlow Trophy winner is determined by a vote of Alma’s Student Congress and faculty members.
Bethany Doran of Ithaca, daughter of Mike and Kathy Doran, and Mary Pietsch of Rogers City, daughter of Gary and Paula Pietsch, were the other Barlow nominees.
The Senior Leadership Award was presented by the Alma Leadership Alliance (ALA), a student organization committed to bridging the transition between student and alumni status. Nominated by campus organizations and selected by a committee of students, faculty and administrators, seniors receive Senior Leadership Awards for involvement in various areas of campus life leadership.
The MCC award is the highest honor in the state for a student doing community service as part of a college education. Mirsaeedi Farahani received the Outstanding Community Impact Award because of her exceptional commitment to community service through her work with Forgotten Children of Eastern Europe (FCEE), the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child, Amnesty International, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
A foreign service major, Mirsaeedi Farahani is this year’s Student Congress president. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies. She has been a member of the College’s Strategy and Planning Council and student member of the Board of Trustees.
She also has been a member of Alma’s Model UN Team that has received two Outstanding Delegation awards at the national conference every year for the past three years.
An avid volunteer, Mirsaeedi Farahani is co-founder of the FCEE, a non-profit organization that supports an orphanage in the Ukraine by sponsoring developmental projects that make life better for the orphans. Her projects have included helping raise enough money to purchase and install a heating system in the building. During her service to FCEE, the Posey Family Foundation endowed a scholarship to help students live in the Ukraine for four to six weeks to assist the orphans and learn about children’s issues and life in the Ukraine.
She has been involved in the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child, Amnesty International, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Mirsaeedi Farahani has demonstrated her understanding of poverty and the issues surrounding it on a global level and fought for the rights of women and children in the Ukraine and in Iran. She utilizes these experiences to teach and lead local college students about human rights and what can be done to prevent their violation.
A 2001 graduate of Midland Dow High School, she is the daughter of Hessam Mirsaeedi Farahani and Gila Mohadjer of Midland.