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Dowla wins UAB Student Excellence in Service Award

April 24, 2017

Shima Dowla, MD/PhD student in the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and Department of Health Behavior, has been honored with the 2017 UAB Student Excellence in Service Award. The Student Excellence Awards honor UAB students and student organizations for their outstanding leadership and service contributions to the campus and community. Individual and group awards were presented at the annual Student Excellence Awards on March 30, 2017. More than 60 UAB students, student organizations, faculty, and staff nominees were highlighted. The annual banquet ceremony was hosted by Student Involvement & Leadership in the Hill Student Center Grand Ballroom as a celebration of the outstanding leadership and service contributed to UAB’s campus and community during the 2016–2017 school year.

The Excellence in Service Award recognizes a student who has a heart and passion for helping others, whether local, national, or international, and has demonstrated this through volunteering and service. This recipient has also demonstrated the desire to educate and support a particular cause in which he/she has significant interest and has made it an integral part of his/her college experience through his/her efforts to build partnerships between students and UAB, or UAB and the Birmingham community.

Dowla’s passion for social justice and health equity began in college, where she served as a director for the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health and Social Equity and student director for the William Jewett Tucker Center for Service. She completed research and volunteer assignments in Ecuador, Tanzania, and Bangladesh, with the goal to better understand and address social determinants of health affecting these populations. Following those experiences, Dowla volunteered as a homeless outreach and refugee resettlement coordinator for AmeriCorps Community HealthCorps.

At UAB, Dowla has dedicated her time working with Equal Access Birmingham (EAB), a University of Alabama School of Medicine student-run free health clinic. She has served in several leadership roles with this organization, most recently as a U.S. Albert Schweitzer Fellow. Through this fellowship, Dowla designed and implemented an 8-week peer coach–based diabetes management program for low-income patients treated at EAB that focused on nutrition, physical activity, and medication adherence.

For more information about the Student Excellence Awards, click here.