Habib University Honors its Co-Founders

Habib University hosted a special occasion for its graduating class, the Co-Founders, on 4th May, 2018. Awards Night was held a day before the convocation and provided an opportunity to reflect on the past four years and celebrate the University’s successes, in particular that of the Co-Founders.

The Habib University family, members of the Board of Governors, Board of Directors, the Chancellor, Rafiq M. Habib, Founding President, Wasif A. Rizvi, Deans, faculty members, guests, and the graduating students were in attendance. The proceedings began with Dr. Nauman Naqvi, Director, Comparative Liberal Studies, providing a background to the philosophy of Yohsin and a historical perspective to the creation of Habib University.

The evening came with the spiritually uplifting qawwali performed by the Saami Brothers, and soon the entire audience was mesmerized by the words of ‘Mun kunto maula’, and later with ‘Dama dam mast qalandar’.


HU President Wasif Rizvi speaking at #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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In his welcome address, President Rizvi spoke of how four years ago, the Class of 2018 had been given the title of Co-Founders as they were the first group of students who chose to attend Habib University. With them now graduating, history was evolving and “the students are no longer the Co-Founders but the ‘co-authors’ of Habib University’s history”.

The President acknowledged the legacy of Mohamedali Habib, whose contribution to philanthropic causes dated back to the pre-partition era. He was recognized for his contribution to society through a commemorative stamp issued by the Government of Pakistan in 2000 and that legacy had been carried forward by the Chancellor, Rafiq M. Habib along with the rest of the Habib family.

The Awards Night, however, focused on appreciating the efforts of not only the students but also of the founding faculty, without whose knowledge and commitment the first cohort would not have had such a rewarding academic journey. The Chancellor, Mr. Rafiq M. Habib accompanied by President Rizvi, handed out certificates to the founding faculty: Dr. Nauman Naqvi, Dr. Aaron Mulvany, Dr. Shah Jamal Alam, Dr. Asif Aslam Farrukhi, Dr. Waqar Saleem, Dr. Hasan Ali Khan, Dr. Mohammad Shahid Shaikh, Saima Zaidi, Dr. Anzar Khaliq, Dr. Markus Heidingsfelder, and Dr. Fahd Ali.

The enthusiasm with which the Class of 2018 cheered each member of the faculty provided a testament of the close relationship that was built between the faculty and the students over the past four years.

After the faculty, the capstone projects were recognized, which had not only captured the imagination of the students, but also exhibited an application of knowledge gained over the past four years.

The first set of awards for the best capstone project were given to students from the Dhanani School of Science and Engineering (DSSE). Dr. Amir Hasan, Program Director, announced that the best capstone project in Electrical Engineering was awarded to ‘Mali-bot’ – a robot that automates the lawn care function, an idea by Areeba Aziz Rajput, Muhammad Zohaib Ashraf, and Rabeea Saleem. 

Dr. Waqar Saleem, Program Director, Computer Science was called on next to announce the award for the best capstone project (Kaavish). There were two winners: ‘PlayLab, an Interactive Storytelling Application’ by Anusha Fatima and Sumbul Zehra- a gesture recognition software which can map hand gestures to an action in a 3D story space;and ‘Bounds of Description Complexity of Quantum Finite Automata Using Communication Complexity Techniques’ by Amin Shiraz Gilani and Syed Affan Aslam- a computational study which analysed the relationship between the classical and quantum finite automata for regular languages.


Best Capstone (Kaavish) in Computer Science – II at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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Recognized next were the outstanding performances from the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS). Dean, Dr. Craig Phelan was joined on stage by the Program Director, Social Development and Policy, Dr. Fahd Ali, who announced the award for the best theses.

There were three winners: ‘Sharing Economy Disrupted: The Case of Ride Hailing in Karachi’ by Moizza Salahuddin. Her thesis explored the implications for future forms of exchange and livelihoods in Pakistan based on the urban political economy.



Best Thesis in Social Development & Policy II at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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‘Exploring the Subjective Experiences of Khwaja Siras on Karachi’s Public Buses’ by Neha Panjwani – highlighting the subjective experiences of the transgender community in relation to Karachi’s public transportation; and ‘Where is my Home: Identity, Belonging, Performativity of Second Generation Afghan Refugee Youth in Pakistan’ by Sameer Nizamuddin, which explored how second-generation Afghan refugees understand their identity and deal with abstract ideas such as homeland, nationhood, citizenship, and the feeling of inclusion and exclusion.

Dr. Aaron Mulvany, Program Director, Communication Studies and Design then joined Dr. Phelan on stage to announce the Capstone winners from the major.


Best Thesis/Capstone in Communication & Design II at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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There were two winners here as well: ‘Infin8y’ by Sakina Ijaz aimed to begin an awareness campaign based on a strategic approach to incentivize donor registrations using communication and design; and ‘We: The Things I Inherited’ by Zoha Jabbar which was a project based on Zoha and her family and studied how over time ‘we’ transforms into ‘me’.

The last award to be awarded for the evening was an ‘interdisciplinary’ capstone, which went to ‘Dastaan-e-Karachi: Preserving Karachi’s Intangible Heritage’ by Talha Ahmed Kehar, a Communication Studies and Design student, and Fatin Nawaz a student of Computer Science. The basic idea of the project was to use augmented reality to convey information to the user about their surroundings.


Best Interdisciplinary Capstone Project at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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After the capstone, the Dean’s Medals for both DSSE and AHSS were awarded by the respective deans. The Dean’s Medals are given to students who have shown overall highest academic achievement in their programs over the four years.

In DSSE, the medals were won by Areeba Aziz Rajput in Electrical Engineering, while for Computer Science it went to Anas Masood.



Dean’s Medal for Computer Science at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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In AHSS, the awards went to Sumair Nizamuddin in Social Development and Policy and to Saadia Asad Pathan in Communication Studies and Design.

A series of special awards were presented by HU Student Government represented by the Vice President Arham Sarwar. During her speech, she paid tribute to the Class of 2018 as the pioneers of Student Government at Habib University and thanked them for being inspirational seniors.


Service Award by the Student Government at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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The first award was the Leadership Award which went to Anas Masood; the Service Award winner was Syed Muhammad Hasan Naqvi; and the Advocacy for Social Change Award went to Sana Rizwan Gondal.  

The President’s Medal, given in recognition of the overall highest academic achievement over four years, in all of the programs, was announced by Dr. Talat Azhar, Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness and Student Affairs, and presented by the President to Saada Asad Pathan, a Communication Studies and Design major. Saadia was also declared the Valedictorian for the Class of 2018. Dr. Azhar brought attention to the Chancellor’s Yohsin Medal which was to be announced at the convocation ceremony, and would be awarded to a student who spent their time at HU encompassing the true values of Yohsin, while also maintaining academic integrity. The feeling of comradery felt during the course of the night was summed up aptly by Saadia Pathan when she said, “I don’t think there is anything better at Habib than how we treat each other.”


Winner of President’s Medal at the #HUGRADS18 Awards Night

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In his closing remarks the Chancellor, Rafiq M. Habib thanked all supporters of the university and wished the university and the students continued success.


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