The prize of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) comes with 1.000€ and is awarded to students with both outstanding academic achievements and impressive social or cultural commitment. It is usually awarded at the graduation ceremony in October which could not take placee this year due to the corona pandemic. However, Maria do Carmo Massoni, Coordinator of the H-BRS Welcome Centre/International Office, found a way to celebrate with the prize winner via webex. A real-life get-together with him and the other nominees will have to be postponed until next year.
Ganesamanian Kolappan from India is his third semester of the Master's Programme in Autonomous Systems at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Prof. Dr. Paul Plöger, who nominated him for the award, stresses the valuable input of his student both academically and socially:
"Gansemanian has volunteered as study buddy since his second semester, helping numerous candidates as they decide whether or not join the programme and with their preparations to come to Germany. He volunteered to teach a unit in the SS 2020 foundation course. The foundation course is a course for incoming first semester students that takes place in the three weeks leading up to the start of lectures. He is the organizer of the course this winter semester 2020, where he is coordinating with incoming students from all over the world, recruiting student volunteers for the various units and setting up the onboarding process. Given the online nature of the current courses, he has proactively changed some of the course structure in order to better support these students and allow them greater opportunities to bond – showing his great sense of empathy.
Ganesamanian is a very worthy prize winner for the DAAD Prize 2020."