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Inspiring Curtin student named outstanding new leader

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A Curtin student who fled her war-torn homeland and now helps other students navigate their university studies has been recognised among Australasia’s brightest student leaders.

Curtin physiotherapy student Rita Anjerkoushian, a peer learning facilitator with Curtin’s UniPASS program, was named an Outstanding New PASS Leader at the 2019 Australasian Peer Leader Awards.

UniPASS is a free Curtin program of study sessions led by a senior student who has been successful in the unit and is designed to help students maximise their grades for demanding units.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Jill Downie congratulated Ms Anjerkoushian on her well-deserved recognition.

“The Australasian Peer Leader Awards recognise the outstanding contributions of leaders in peer learning programs across the region and we are delighted that Rita has been acknowledged as an inspiring student leader,” Professor Downie said.

“Rita regularly runs group study sessions in a challenging anatomy unit, incorporating student-centred learning and engaging activities to help students learn while also helping them form connections and improve their overall study skills, making her a worthy recipient of this honour.”

Rita, who has an Armenian background and grew up in Syria, escaped the war by moving to Lebanon with her family and then applying for a humanitarian visa to Australia.

“Having seen the health issues caused by war and the support that physiotherapists can offer to people with serious injuries, I was inspired to make a difference and choose physiotherapy as my future career,” Ms Anjerkoushian said.

“Becoming a peer learning facilitator in Curtin’s UniPASS program has been an honour for me. It motivates me every day to work harder and find out different approaches to gain and retain knowledge. It has helped me grow and I am sure I help others grow too.”

The Australasian Peer Leader Awards aim to recognise and reward the extremely valuable contribution of student peer leaders or other peer educator teams from the Australasia region.

Ms Anjerkoushian’s nomination included supporting evidence such as creative learning activities and highly positive feedback from students outlining how she has helped them in their studies this semester.

UniPASS is one of the academic support programs provided by the Curtin Library.

The awards ceremony was held at the Australasian PASS and Peer Learning Conference, run by the University of Wollongong, today.

For more information about Curtin’s UniPASS program, visit here.

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