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University of Alabama at Birmingham graduating senior Anjali Thottassery has been named Anjali Thottassery Anjali Thottasserythe UAB Honors College’s recipient of the 2024 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student. She will be acknowledged at the Honors College Medallion Ceremony in a special presentation.

Thottassery’s journey at UAB focused on purpose and perseverance during her collegiate career. This prestigious award is not only an honor, but a testament to her character and motivation. "The Honors College has already given me so much: passion for education and interest in other disciplines among other things,” said Thottassery. “I have also received one of the biggest support systems during my college career. I always say that the Honors College is one of the main reasons for why I chose UAB, so it makes me feel so supported to be acknowledged in this way."

Every spring, UAB recognizes students who have won prestigious national honors, including fellowships and scholarships, university school awards, and student service awards. Schools and divisions at UAB submit names of students to be honored. Thottassery was selected by an Honors College selection committee due to her continued academic success, leadership involvement at UAB and in the Honors College, and mentorship for fellow students.

Throughout her time at UAB, Thottassery was actively involved in numerous activities and organizations, particularly with the Honors College. She served as an Honors Ambassador and a student representative for the University Honors Program (UHP), where she planned social events and helped interview incoming students. She also served on the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) for four years, and currently serves as the Vice President of Student Services, where she plans initiatives and events geared at helping students through their college experience.

As an accomplished student and leader in the community, she dedicated her time to serving as an ACT reading fellow for students at Tarrant High School. She also worked in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, for two months, where she worked as an intern to help develop policy aimed at protecting key populations living with HIV and AIDS.

“Anjali has made many meaningful contributions within the UAB Honors College and has set a high standard as an academic and community leader,” said Shannon L. Blanton, Ph.D., dean of the UAB Honors College. “She is truly an outstanding representative of the UAB Honors College, our University Honors Program, and UAB.”

Her fondest memory in the Honors College and at UAB was one of collaboration and student leadership. "Whether it was through the virtual sessions or the long orientation days, I loved being able to work with other Honors College students and faculty to spread the honors experience," said Thottassery. “I will always cherish the time I spent working with other Honors Ambassadors to promote the Honors College experience to prospective and incoming students.”

Thottassery will graduate with High Distinguished Honors in University Honors as Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and World Languages & Literature this spring. Her future career goals have been shaped by the opportunities provided and experiences shared. "I have learned the value of leadership, collaboration, and making a difference in the lives of others," said Thottassery. "These experiences have shaped my desire to pursue a career in immigration law and advocacy."

After graduation, she plans to take an extended break before starting her professional career. “I plan on working full time at Harris and Associates, a law firm focused on immigration and personal injury law, as an immigration Legal Assistant,” said Thottassery. “Afterwards, I want to travel, and explore work with the Peace Corps or a non-governmental organization. I also want to pursue a path in teaching English in Guatemala."

In addition to her career aspirations, Thottassery wants to explore other areas of interest that she deems her “dream job.” “I have so many dream jobs," said Thottassery. "I would love to be a human rights lawyer at The Hague, a journalist, or a political satire comedian like Jon Stewart. I have also played with the idea of opening a coffee shop in Seville, Spain."

For students aspiring to win prestigious awards, Thottassery offered simple yet impactful advice. "Do the things you love and are interested in,” said Thottassery. “Try everything and be passionate about it.”

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