Muhammed Bilaal Ismail - Spring 2013 Graduate Scholar Award Winner: US$10,000

Congratulations to Bilaal! Well done and keep it up!

"I am wholeheartedly grateful to be a recipient of the Spring Golden Key 2013 Graduate Scholar Award. I believe that this award is acknowledgement of my sincerest effort in the areas of academia, leadership and service. This acknowledgement is tangible in that it relieves the debt of my previous studies in chemistry and will lift the financial burden of my PhD study in medicinal inorganic chemistry. It also illustrates great acclaim to the university, UKZN, as well as myself. The Graduate Scholar Award not only provides me a platform to become an excellent researcher, but also me to continue service work in my hometown (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) as the university of KwaZulu-Natal Golden Key Chapter President.

I have been noted for academic excellence in the past, with numerous merit certificates and a few medals - This includes recognition for highest module marks and the best chemistry average at an Honours level. However, it is with great pleasure that I accept an award which understands the holistic dimension of researchers who do in fact, extend beyond the laboratory. The service work that my colleagues and I have provided orphanages, old age homes, soup kitchens and underprivilege children under the Golden Key banner, has been nothing short of inspiring.

It has been a real privilege to say the least. The on-campus events for fellow members have also been fun, interactive and stimulating. I have always been grateful to Golden Key for providing me with a means and a voice in service work. Now, I will forever be grateful to them for providing me with a leap towards my future."