Chancellor Berdahl presented Urvashi Sahni with the Haas International Award during Charter Day ceremonies, the annual observance of the founding of the University of California.

Urvashi Sahni, a UC Berkeley and International House alumna, received Berkeley’s Haas International Award for her efforts to reform education in India and bolster education for girls. The prize is awarded each year to a UC Berkeley graduate achieving distinction in his or her work who is a native and resident of a country other than the United States.

Chancellor Robert Berdahl presented Sahni with the Haas International Award during Charter Day ceremonies on March 23. Sahni called the award “a great honor” and said UC Berkeley holds a “great place in my heart and my life.”

Urvashi Sahni is an educator and leader in efforts to reform schools and improve the lives of students and teachers in India. She has been especially effective in achieving educational reform in her native sate of Utter Pradesh, launching an innovative in-service program for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with 30,000 kindergarten and first-grade teachers in 28 districts. She also designed and directed a school reform project in a rural section of her state, involving 62 schools, 16,000 children, and 258 teachers.

Dr. Sahni received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Education in 1994. Cal Professor Anne Dyson noted that Sahni is guided by an “enormous intellect and heart.” Before coming to Berkeley, she had already founded two schools: an urban school for primary children and a rural school for girls. Dr. Sahni, her husband, Sunil, and their two daughters currently reside in Lucknow, India.