UTA fellow honored for humanitarian work in Afghanistan

UTA’s Mashal recognized alongside Hillary Clinton for humanitarian action

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 • Devynn Case : Contact

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The humanitarian organization Refugees International is honoring Roshan Mashal, a Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) fellow at The University of Texas at Arlington, with its 2022 Exceptional Service Award for her extraordinary commitment to human rights in Afghanistan.

Joining Mashal at the Refugees International Advocacy Awards ceremony is former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recipient of this year’s McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award.

Mashal is a journalist, women’s rights activist and deputy director of the Afghan Women’s Network. She evacuated from her hometown of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2021. For over a decade, she has advocated for women’s and gender issues, such as access to education and participation in elections in Afghanistan. She is now serving as a TIEC fellow in UTA’s Women's and Gender Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts (COLA), where she is focusing on journalism, women’s rights issues and advocacy.

“I want to thank Refugees International for recognizing my efforts for women's rights and gender equality in Afghanistan,” Mashal said. “I will never forget the solidarity I feel during this critical time of my life. This award encourages me to move forward into the second chapter of struggles and activism—working for women's human rights and gender equality for Afghan women and vulnerable women worldwide.”

Refugees International is honoring Mashal for her “unwavering dedication to advancing human rights and educational opportunities for women and Afghanistan.” 

“Mashal is a shining example of the type of individual we celebrate at UT Arlington—bold leaders who do the right thing to improve the human condition,” said Dan Cavanagh, interim dean of COLA. “She continues to represent the values of the University and the College of Liberal Arts so well. We are so pleased that Ms. Mashal is being recognized for this prestigious award recognizing her incredible service to Afghan women and girls.”

Mashal’s UTA fellowship comes in part thanks to a collaboration with TIEC, which has pledged to commit up to $500,000 for scholarships and fellowships for high-risk students and professionals hosted by member universities.

“The Texas International Education Consortium is humbled to sponsor Roshan Mashal as a fellow, and to have found such a welcoming host and partner in UTA,” said Robin J. Lerner, president and CEO of TIEC. “TIEC’s mission is to provide Texas students with diverse international perspectives gained from real people. Our fellowship is designed to open doors to individuals like Mashal with incredible lived experiences, knowing their stories will inspire students and even faculty to learn more about global issues, and feel empowered to be part of global solutions. We applaud the four Texas universities who have already sponsored TIEC Afghan Fellows and are excited to see that number grow.”