Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI Student wins Lord Mayor's International Student Award

22 May 2012

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, presented RCSI student Sami Backely with the first International Student Award at a ceremony in the Mansion House last night. The award recognises the International student who has best engaged with Dublin city.

A native of the USA, raised and educated in Saudi Arabia and currently living in Dublin, Sami is in his third year studying Medicine at RCSI. From the outset Sami has been very involved with student-led societies and student life. He has worked for the Caribbean African Society as Public Relations Officer. The society raised over €5,000 for Aid Africa this year. He was also founder and President of the RCSI UNICEF Society. Working with other societies, they organised many interesting events promoting awareness of UNICEF and raised over €3,000 for the charity.

Lord Mayor award
Pictured (l-r) are Sami Backley, RCSI Medical Student; Andrew Montague, Lord Mayor of Dublin; and Corriena Brien, Student Services Manager, RCSI. 

Sami also works with the REACH RCSI Programme, RCSI's Community Outreach and Access initiative aimed at encouraging and facilitating third level participation and enhancing life chances for those traditionally under represented at third level, particularly those from Dublin's South Inner City. The REACH RCSI Programme works in partnership with schools, youth, community & sports groups in the community on programmes promoting Recreation, Education And Community Health. As part of a student elective, Sami worked as a student ambassador in the community programme.

Lord Mayor Award
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague (right) pictured with Sami Backley, winner of the First Lord Mayor's International Student Prize, at the Mansion House in Dublin.

Commenting on the award, Corriena Brien Student Services Manager said ‘This is one of several initiatives involving International students which the Lord Mayor and Dublin City Council have delivered. They are all warmly welcomed and we have no doubt they will support the drive to further attract International students to Ireland.'


Andrew Montague, Lord Mayor of Dublin and Sami Backley, RCSI Medical Student (pictured centre) with international students at the Mansion House in Dublin.

She went on to add, ‘Sami faced stiff competition both in terms of RCSI's nominees and subsequently amongst the shortlisted finalists. International students are involved in so many wonderful activities across a broad spectrum including social, cultural and volunteering and it is wonderful to see their dedication and commitment recognised.'