English major Taylor Daum and Ph.D. student Saddiq Dzukogi are among the 10 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students who received Student Luminary Awards to recognize their exceptional leadership and commitment to improving the campus and community.

The awards were announced during a reception at Howard L. Hawks Hall on April 1. The awards recognize students who create a positive campus environment, advocate for change, demonstrate a significant and active commitment to inclusion and model academic excellence inside and outside the classroom.

Each student was nominated by a faculty or staff member on campus and received $1,000.

Saddiq Dzukogi

Dzukogi, a doctoral student in English from Lincoln was honored as a Student Luminary for his personal commitments to creating a positive campus environment and actions toward making every person feel valued. While pursuing his own education and raising three young children, he mentors international students, serves as a compassionate undergraduate instructor, coaches high school poets and works with incarcerated community members.

“He has managed, in all of [his] struggles, to establish himself as a brilliant scholar, a hugely successful poet, a community-engaged teacher, a skillful, compassionate instructor to our undergraduates, and a mentor to local youth, other international students and incarcerated individuals,” Stacey Waite, nominator, said.

On his Facebook page, Dzukogi gave a statement after sharing the good news:

“Last Friday I was honored as one of ten University of Nebraska-Lincoln students with the Student Luminary Award. “Reviewers considered commitment to scholarship and leadership, as well as [my] role in fostering a positive campus environment”.

I want to use this opportunity to thank Stacey Waite, and my mentor and supervisor Kwame Dawes for writing such amazing letters in support of my nomination. It’s been such a year already— alhamdulilah.”