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Chancellor’s Award: Akeela Makshood

Akeela Makshood gained leadership skills at UAlbany, and plans a career in law. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 14, 2017) – Akeela Makshood entered the University as a shy freshman with the sole aim of earning a degree.

Today she is a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence winner and a dedicated leader of the Muslim Students Association.

Makshood, of Albany, has made the most of the opportunities offered at UAlbany to develop leadership skills. As time went on, she became more and more involved in the campus community.

“I am grateful for the chances I have had on campus to become a better leader,” she said. “The resources available for student groups and student leaders helped me throughout my four years at UAlbany.”


Makshood receives her Chanceller's Award for Excellence from SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and UAlbany Interim President James Stellar. 

Makshood is set to graduate next month with honors in political science and history, and plans to take a year to study for the LSAT and work or intern before going to law school. Her favorite course? Senior Honors Thesis (history) with Professor Ryan Irwin and her advisor, Michitake Aso.

“I have had the opportunity to explore historical writing in depth and really enjoy the process of researching, analyzing, editing and writing,” she said. “I have learned a lot about writing well and writing clearly. I am glad that I had the opportunity to take a course like this.”

Makshood has won the Dr. Seth W. Spellman Achievement Award for three consecutive years, as well as the Undergraduate Research Endowed Fellowship for research on Islamic Art and American Society. She has worked as the student activist coordinator for Amnesty International in the Capital Region.

Her experience at UAlbany has helped reinforce her goal.

“I have become a much better leader and gained more confidence for what I would like to pursue in the future: law school,” she said.

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