International Christmas celebration with award ceremony for international prizesStudents at Aalen University honored for their commitment

Prof. Dr. Markus Merkel hält eine Rede an einem Pult. Daneben steht der DAAD-Preisträger Dishant Kavathia.

Prof. Dr. Markus Merkel gave a speech in honor of DAAD award winner Dishant Kavathia. Photo © International Center Aalen University

Th, 15. Dezember 2022

Three student prizes with an international character were awarded at the international Christmas celebration at Aalen University. After the corona-affected digital award ceremonies of the past years, around 100 students, staff, professors and external guests were able to celebrate on campus once again. The award ceremony and the associated international Christmas party were organized by the International Center, consisting of the International Relations Office (IRO), the Language Center, the university's non-profit association "International Society Aalen e.V. (ISA)" and the Welcome Center Ostwürttemberg.

This year’s German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Prize for outstanding achievement by foreign students, endowed with 1000 Euros, went to Dishant Kavathia from India, Master's student of the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing program. The prize was presented to him by Prof. Dr. Markus Merkel, Head of the Center for Virtual Product Development, who also gave the laudatory speech. Kavathia has worked as a research assistant in Merkel's team during his studies. In his speech, Merkel not only highlighted the young student's outstanding research achievements, but also his social commitment.

In addition to his impressive academic profile, Dishant has been involved in volunteer work for many years. In every city he has lived in, he has found the time to participate in community service. In India, he taught mathematics to disadvantaged children, in Abu Dhabi, he organized blood donation camps, and, here in Germany, he provided food for the devotees of the Singh Temple in Aachen. When he moved from there to Aalen University, he immediately signed up for the IRO's ENGAGE program, which involves volunteering with local associations," Merkel said.

Buddy of the Year 2022

For the sixth time, the non-profit association of the ISA awarded two prizes of 500 euros each to internationally committed students of Aalen University. Sabrina Binder, Bachelor student of International Business Studies, received the "Buddy of the Year 2022" award. In his laudatory speech, Prof. Dr. Dirk Flottmann, Deputy Chairman of the ISA, emphasized Sabrina Binder's boundless commitment to supporting international students in the ISA Buddy Program. After Flottmann's speech, international students came on stage to thank the student for her support.

Sharing Experience from Abroad 2022

The third prize "Sharing Experience from Abroad 2022" went to Roman Brendler, Bachelor student of the Mechatronics program, for his commitment as a motivator and informer. Brendler has been abroad for four semesters and joined the award ceremony live from Mexico. From there, he motivates students to spend a semester abroad with the help of social media and through his digital participation in informational events at Aalen University. In his laudation, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Klauck, Chairman of the ISA association, emphasized that Roman has had an influence on students throughout Germany thanks to TikTok and Instagram, as he has also acted as a correspondent for the DAAD.

International Christmas party

In his opening speech at the international Christmas celebration, Pascal Cromm, head of the IRO, highlighted the commitment of the members of the family friendship program "Hand in Hand" in particular. Families who participate in this program integrate international students into their daily lives, helping them to better integrate into their own communities. "Thank you for opening your hearts, your homes and gardens to our international students. Thank you for treating them like family members and personally setting them up for internships and jobs," Cromm warmly addressed the guests present. The Christmas celebration ended with numerous conversations and exchanges among the guests over pastries, snacks and hot drinks.