BME Students Honored with 2021 Leadership & Excellence Awards

Apr 06 2021 | By Alexis Newman |

Please join us in congratulating BME students Özgenur Çelik BME’22 and Anisha Tyagi BME’21 on receiving Columbia College and Columbia Engineering 2021 Leadership & Excellence Awards. Read about each of their awards below!

Özgenur Çelik SEAS'22

Özgenur Çelik, known as 'Ozzie' among her peers, is being recognized for her impact on the international student community as an International Buddy Program "Lion" (mentor for incoming international students), International Student Orientation Program Head Leader, and International Student Advisory Board secretary. She has helped numerous student peers navigate NYC, campus life, and academics on topics ranging from getting involved with biomedical/biological research on campus, volunteering, finding fellowships/funding for international student, and making the most of freshman summer and of their time during the pandemic. Moreover, she has guided her peers by fostering strong engagement in their new college environments, and has continued to promote a sense of belonging throughout her time at Columbia. She believes that mentoring and helping students is just 'passing the torch' of what she has experienced and saw from her mentors and upperclassmen friends at Columbia.

"It is such an honor to be recognized by my peers, mentors, and Columbia, and to receive the King's Crown Leadership Excellence Award for Community Building! I would like to thank all my International Student Buddy mentees, my Orientation Program students, and my Advisory Board members whom I am delighted to call my friends. I'd also like to thank Alison Jackson, Melinda Aquino, and every member of Multicultural Affairs at Columbia who see us and help us make our voices heard. Lastly, I'd like to thank my parents, grandparents, uncle, and Nicholas who have always supported me in what I do. I am accepting this award on behalf of everyone who has questioned at least once if they have a community to belong to at Columbia, because I promise you do!"

Anisha Tyagi SEAS'21

Anisha Tyagi demonstrates civic responsibility through fostering community and guidance for her fellow Engineering students. Anisha has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since her first year and serves as Vice President (External) this year. In this role, she worked tirerlessly to secure enough funding to send all interested members to the national conference at no cost. As a Resident Advisor, Anisha started a successful mentoring program that connects first year Engineers to upperclass students. Through this work, Anisha has made a lasting impact on the Columiba Engineering community.

"Thank you to all my peers and faculty for supporting me throughout my time at Columbia!"

King's Crown Leadership Excellence Awards

King's Crown Leadership Excellence Awards recognize the significant contributions of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students to the Columbia community.

Awards are presented near the end of the spring semester, across eight categories to up to ten individuals per category. The most outstanding of these awardees may also receive a Dean's Award for Leadership Excellence.

Award Categories and Descriptions

Community Building

Recipients of this award have worked to create, establish or strengthen a particular community at Columbia University. This could be accomplished through, but not limited to, relationship building, programming, shared goals or purpose, or creating a vision for the future.

Civic Responsibility

Recipients of this award best promote civic engagement, responsible citizenship, and global citizenship. This includes both on-campus and off-campus activities, initiatives, and service.

Senior Marshal

Senior marshal is an honor bestowed upon members of the Columbia College and Columbia Engineering graduating class who have demonstrated achievement in their academics and extracurricular activities. Honorees are distinguished at their respective Class Day ceremonies and University Commencement by their gold aiguillettes.


In addition to holding a place of honor in the graduation processions, senior marshals are responsible for helping to assemble and lead their classmates at these events. All senior marshals attend a reception and training session.

Selection Process

Senior marshals are nominated by students, faculty, staff and administrators. Selected students are notified in the weeks leading to graduation.


View all of the Leadership and Excellence 2021 Awardees

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