Northland's Naima Haji Receives World Citizen Award

Haji is one of only 20 Minnesota State system students to receive award

December 13, 2019 — Naima Haji, a liberal arts/business transfer pathway student at Northland Community and Technical College, has been awarded the Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award.

Haji first came to East Grand Forks, MN, from Kenya in 2017. She worked her way through Northwest Service Cooperative’s Adult Basic Education program earning both her GED and Minnesota adult high school diploma in 2018. She will graduate in May 2020 and intends to continue her education, working towards her MBA.

“Naima is the American Dream in the flesh. She doesn’t give up, doesn’t let adversity stand in her way, and she doesn’t let barriers compromise her values and moral core,” shares Jason Pangiarella, Student Success Coordinator and Advisor, “She is a voice of leadership calling her fellow students to higher-level goals, and her example is one we will cite for many, many years to come. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Naima as a student and student leader at Northland.” Pangiarella nominated Haji for this prestigious award.

Haji is involved in Student Senate, serves as the Young Professionals Club president, and is a founding member of the Multicultural Student Club. She also works at a tutor in Northland’s Academic Success Center.

The Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award is to provide a tribute to Minnesota State system students who most exemplify the thoughts, words, and actions demanded by a 21st-century world citizen. The award is sponsored by the Welter Family Foundation and the student advocacy group LeadMN.

Northland Community and Technical College (Northland) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Northland also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and a satellite site in Roseau, Minnesota. Northland offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. Northland is a member of Minnesota State, the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.

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