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Proud To Be a Bulldog

Photo of Azrin
May 9, 2019

Azrin is an advocate, activist, ally and a proud Bulldog.

Azrin Awal, a first-generation Muslim Bengali American from Maple Grove, Minn., is a public health and psychology double major with a women, gender & sexuality studies minor. Azrin fell in love with the community at UMD during her first semester.

When applying for schools, she submitted an application to the Twin Cities campus along with the other U of M schools. She received her acceptance letter from Duluth first and was offered some great scholarships. She thought that she would attend UMD for a semester, and then transfer to the Twin Cities.

“Little did I know how the campus and city would grow on me a lot during my first semester at UMD,” she emphasized.

Living off campus her freshman year, Azrin wanted to get more involved on campus. She joined MPIRG and the Asian Pacific American Association (APAA), both Multicultural Center organizations, located in Kirby. “My first year, I interned as an event planner and organizer, specifically for Arts for Activism, with MPIRG; I was also the first-year representative for APAA.”

Becoming a Bulldog

As she was getting more involved, she noticed she kept putting off her application to transfer to the Twin Cities campus. Through her involvement, she helped produce APAA’s annual Culture Show as well as MPIRG’s Addressing Islamophobia event. These experiences brought her closer to her fellow students, as well as helped her build strong relationships with faculty and staff.

“I realized that the support and mentorship I received from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion staff and faculty as well as support from students in the Multicultural Center, was something I could not have had at the Twin Cities as a lost face in a sea of thousands. I knew by the end of the year, that the University of Minnesota Duluth was the place for me.”

Being an Ally

Azrin has spent her years at UMD advocating for students, being a resource for all, as well as working to become a stronger leader.

She explains, “Both professional and personal development is important. I continued to be a part of the Multicultural Center organizations. I was the co-chair for MPIRG and co-president for APAA my second year and vice president of Student Life in Student Association my junior year. I was employed as the co-sponsorship chair for the Kirby Program Board.”

Photo of Azrin

She is passionate about fighting for social justice in hopes of making a positive change in the community. She has undergone many challenges with her health throughout college but has been flexible and accepted that she can grow through them all.

“There are times we get lost in the journey of life, but understanding that each time you get lost, it is a way for you to learn and develop yourself. I am not perfect and am still learning. I love to learn and will continue to educate myself throughout my daily life.”

She offers advice to individuals who may need to hear it, “It is not easy to be a full-time student, trying to work full time as well as being involved on campus and in the community. Be sure whatever you are dedicating your time to is something you are passionate about.”

Forever Grateful

Azrin is thankful for the opportunities she’s had, as well as the strong support system she built of friends, colleagues, faculty, and members of the community throughout the years. “They showed me how to love and be successful, and encouraged me to go forward and never give up. Individuals on this campus inspire me every day to give back and contribute to the community in some way,” she emphasized.

Azrin will be graduating in spring 2020 and is excited to continue her education at graduate school. 

 Learn more about CEHSP's Public Health program.

Learn more about CEHSP's Psychology program.

Learn more about CLA's Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.