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Courage to Climb Award Winner – March 2016

The Division of Student Life would like to congratulate Nathan Kabir on being selected as the winner of the 2016 Courage to Climb Award.  Nathan is a third-year studying civil engineering from Algood, TN.


Nathan has been engaged across campus serving as a Pride Ambassador, Peer Mentor, Welcome Leader, Orientation Leader, and Emerging Leader.


From his first-year serving the office, he connected with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Nathan mentions that his involvement with the Pride Center is one of the most impactful experiences he has had at UT and has allowed him to discover his true passion for educating students. The Pride Ambassador program allowed him to engage with students in dialogue around challenging issues, including facilitating Safe Zone training. He believes strongly that opportunities for growth and acceptance stem from one-to-one dialogue. Nathan was also asked to serve on the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion’s Student Advisory Board.


Nathan applied to serve as an Orientation Leader because he wanted to make every student feel welcome. When asked what he wants all incoming students to know, he stated, “They have a place at UT.”


Nathan and another student founded UT’s chapter of oSTEM, Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, in summer 2015, where he serves as the vice president. The organization supports students in those majors who are members of the LGBT+ community. This organization has served as a professional and personal support network for students. The group has connected with Oak Ridge National Labs and created a mentoring program to connect members with current employees. Nathan is excited to enter the engineering workforce and share his valuable lessons from UT.


He is currently working on research with Professor Shashi Nambisan and others within the Center for Transportation Research. Where they are studying seat belt usage in several nearby counties with plans is to engage the general public and students in local schools about seat belt usage. Through presentations and the use of “The Convincer”, which is machine that allows its riders to experience the feeling of a 5 to 7 mile per hour crash.


Nathan is thankful for the relationships he has made on campus. He said that “there are people on this campus who care about me and it means the world to me.”