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2017 winner: Azadeh Sobout
Azadeh Sobout received the John RE Scott Postgraduate Student of the Year Award for 2017, in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements during her time as a PhD researcher at Ulster University, as well as her community engagement and international work.
An exceptional ambassador for Ulster University, Azadeh is an international researcher who has completed an ambitious interdisciplinary thesis project in the area of social renewal (specifically peace conflict and transition). Already with considerable experience in refugee and civil society work, Azadeh devoted herself to doctoral research at Ulster with the Transitional Justice Institute, on the issue of refugee camps and planning.
In the course of her studies, Azadeh designed innovative and empowering research methods to enable respondents to articulate their situation, which resulted in the understanding of community resilience & esteem in the most challenging of circumstances of refugee displacement. Much of her research involved working with potentially vulnerable groups, which enabled their views to be given expression.
Azadeh has also received recognition from Architecture Sans Frontiéres International for her doctoral project and a UN RWA Certificate of Service for her work in Lebanon with Palestine refugees.
Away from Academic achievement, Azadeh has also made significant contributions in terms of both voluntary and international work. She has been an active member of the Students Union, and in 2017 co-founded the ‘Jordanstown Islamic Society’ to integrate students from Muslim backgrounds with other students. Asadeh has also been involved with the TJI Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit Project, delivering excellent teaching and training sessions to university undergraduates and community trainees, as well as editing an Arabic translation of the toolkit.
Azadeh has shown commitment to community level work in Northern Ireland, working with PLACE in the coordination and delivery of the Urban Design Academy, assisting young people into disciplines including architecture & town planning. She has worked since 2013 as a mindfulness trainer with Mediation Northern Ireland.