- The prize was established to commemorate the life and work of eminent scientist Professor Christopher J Hewitt
- It is awarded for exceptional student citizenship in the College of Health and Life Sciences
- Hanan Tahir, a fourth year MPharm student, is recognised for his support helping colleagues achieve their goals through mentoring and his significant charity work.
The Christopher J Hewitt Prize for exceptional student citizenship in the College of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University has been awarded to Hanan Tahir, a fourth year MPharm student, in recognition of his support in helping colleagues to develop and achieve their goals through mentoring and for his positive and supportive outlook, felt by all those around him.
The prize is named after and in tribute of Professor Christopher J Hewitt FREng who was pro-vice chancellor and executive dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences and professor of biological engineering from November 2014 until July 2019. Chris sadly passed away on 25 July 2019 at the age of 50; an eminent scientist and truly devoted family man.
To commemorate Chris’s life and to celebrate the values that he held dear, the Christopher J Hewitt Prize was established in 2021 to recognise exemplary citizenship through support of other students, contribution to the Aston University community or achievement in the face of adversity.
The judging panel, which consisted of four research fellows and Chris’s widow Sandra Hewitt, felt that Hanan had achieved a lot through his work with Aston University student societies, including as president of the Aston Pharmacy Society. Hanan also set up a mentoring scheme for first and second year students to help ease them into university life after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The judges noted the substantial amount of charity work undertaken by Hanan including hiking up Snowden to raise £9000 for Syrian refugees. They were also impressed by the nominations outlining the sense of fun and joy Hanan has helped to foster amongst his student peers.
On receiving his award, Hanan said: "It's within our human nature to care for and support each other. We've grown to be so successful because we have always chosen to look out for others rather than isolate and try to go it alone. And I have always believed that an integral key to happiness is community.
“I am honoured to have received this award. I am even more honoured that my efforts have been noticed and recognised. Aston University has always put inclusivity and community in everything it does and I hope that we all continue to emanate the values of this University as we progress through our lives."
Sandra Hewitt, Chris’s widow, added: “It was an honour to once again be able to be part of the judging panel for the Christopher J. Hewitt Memorial Prize. Again, this year the candidates all exhibited the qualities and values of the prize, however we felt Hanan was a worthy winner for all the reasons mentioned above. Chris worked hard but he liked to party harder so the fact that Hanan’s nominations also mentioned his sense of joy and fun was especially relevant."
Professor Anthony Hilton, executive dean of the College of Life and Health Sciences, said: “I am delighted Hanan is this year’s recipient of the Christopher J Hewitt Prize. It makes me exceptionally proud to see members of the College demonstrating the culture and values we hold dear and being held in such high regard by their peers.”
The panel also highlighted the exceptional achievements of Negin Gholampoor for her work as the Aston Medical School representative to the British Medical Association and for striving to improve the systems around her and effect change for the benefit of her peers.
A special mention was made for Erika Pond for her commendable display of citizenship when providing CPR to a stranger in need.
For more information about the College of Health and Life Sciences please visit our website and for information about studying Pharmacy at Aston University go to our course pages.