Sehba Faheem

Honored by:League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County
Brick location:  map

Sehba Faheem is the 2021 recipient of the Making Democracy Work Award. Presented by the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County, this award recognizes Sehba for her distinguished efforts to inform Iowa State University students and community members about the voting process. Sehba helped develop and carry out voter engagement plans that encouraged potential voters to become knowledgeable about the issues and to vote. Her voter registration efforts—along with her work to widely publicize voter ID rules, polling hours, locations, and deadlines—stimulated ISU voter involvement.

In collaboration with ISU’s Carrie Chapman Catt Center, Sehba educated and encouraged the entire ISU community to take part in the 2020 presidential election process. She recruited a design graduate to create a set of literature stands to hold voter registration and absentee ballot forms. These materials were used in each of the 14 residence halls and in high traffic areas across campus. Sehba organized a voter registration schedule, ensuring that voter registration occurred on campus at least one day a week for seven weeks. She volunteered in the College of Engineering to get the voter education Canvas module downloaded in many courses and by all advising staff.

A senior in Biosystems Engineering, Sehba does research on preserving Iowa’s wetlands, soil quality, and agricultural water management. Civic engagement parallels her academic pursuits. A senator in Iowa State’s student government, Sehba is an energetic member of its civic engagement committee. Generating ideas and promoting policies to achieve diversity and equality in Iowa are hallmarks of her service. Through her commitment, advocacy, and multifaceted involvement, Sehba exemplifies all that makes democracy work.