As an international student, Disha knows the impact a friendly face and helping hand can have on students arriving from out of country. That's why Disha goes out of her way to encourage and support fellow Dhillon School of Business international students who may be experiencing culture shock. This is just one example of why Disha has been awarded the 2023 Jo and Anne Vanee Memorial Award.

The Jo and Anne Vanee Memorial Award was established in 2017 by Joyce Sakamoto and Bonnie Jarokosky in honor of their parents. The award represents values most important to Jo and Anne Vannee and recognizes a student in the Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge that embodies a spirit of compassion, kindness and volunteerism in support of fellow students. Recipients must also have excellent academic standing with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

This year's winner, Disha was born and raised in India and came to ULethbridge with a bachelor and master's in commerce in hand. The mother of one is currently majoring in international management and has made a real impact on her professors and fellow classmates. Several of Disha's professors have observed how engaged she is in class and how friendly she is to her classmates. One of Disha's professors, Andrea Amelinckx says, "Disha tutors other students in economics for free as she is very strong in this subject and has friends who struggle with the course." She also lends her laptop to another international student on a regular basis and shares her textbooks with students who can't afford them. Disha says she attributes her ability to show kindness to others to her family back in India, she says they are the pillar of her strength.

Disha also volunteers her time at ULethbridge. Most recently, she volunteered for the Living Library event, where she represented India and shared her knowledge about Indian culture with fellow students. Disha also gives tours of ULethbridge to prospective international students, a task that's close to her heart. "ULethbridge has a lot of opportunity, and most importantly it welcomes international students with an open heart," she says. "When I'm having any issues related to my studies, everyone is ready to help."

In this world, no one can survive alone, we need each other."

Disha says she feels blessed by this award. She says her heart is happiest when she is helping someone, so to be recognized for something that brings her so much happiness is special. "In this world, no one can survive alone, we need each other," says Disha.

It's this kind of thinking that made Disha the obvious choice for this year's award. Founders of the award, Sakamoto and Jarokosky, couldn't be happier with Disha as the recipient. "Every year we eagerly await the selection for this scholarship honoring our parents, as every year the recipient is someone exactly like Disha," they say. "That leaves our hearts full. Her kindness, compassion and generosity with her time, talents and resources to others is so wonderful! Those qualities exemplify exactly what our parents would be so proud to have recognized with this scholarship. It really fills our hearts to hear of how generous she is."

The Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge is known for its immersive experiential learning opportunities, connecting learners with industry, its supportive, personalized approach and for exposing students to emerging technology. Study options available in both Lethbridge and Calgary.