IEU Experience


On July 5, the Campus Life Community Awards took place, celebrating student-led projects within the IE University community. The awards recognize student achievement over the academic year with a focus on student clubs and initiatives.

To find out more about the awards, Ida Nydelius—president of the Art Club—sat down with Elisa Hicks, Senior Associate Director of IE Campus Life; Sofia Kritikopoulos, final-year Bachelor in International Relations student and host of the awards; and Togzhan (Toki) Kapenova, winner of the IE Spirit Award; to discuss the importance of recognizing extracurricular achievements at IE University.

Ida: What are the Campus Life Community Awards all about?

Elisa: The Community Awards ceremony is all about recognizing members of our community who go the extra mile. We have so many devoted IE University community members who bring so much purpose and joy to our lives, that it seems only natural that we should celebrate them when we get the chance! It’s also a culmination of students’ hard work and accomplishments before beginning a new chapter with their future endeavors.

Ida: Sofia, you’re the host of the Community Awards. How did that come to be and what was your experience with it?

Sofia: I became the host really out of the blue. In my first year of my Bachelor in International Relations, they introduced the IE Spirit Award and I won the prize along with a Master’s student, so the awards have been special to me since then. Then in June, I was talking to IE Campus Life about how happy I was that I could finally be in Spain for the awards and they asked me to host.

The experience was great; I was really happy to contribute to such a community event.

Ida: Why are the Campus Life Community Awards important?

Sofia: I think it’s really important to recognize all the hard work a lot of students are doing. There’s a lot of talent within IE University and it’s great to reward these people because they’re part of the reason our university experience is so diverse and unique.

Toki: I agree. They are an important acknowledgment of the hard work that IE University students put into our community. 

Elisa: For me, the awards make us take the time to reflect on how special our community is; to reconnect with all of those who have helped us along the way with our learning process and made us better humans all around. It truly is very fulfilling for everyone involved and keeps the momentum of ambition going for years to come.

Ida: What is your favorite aspect of IE Campus Life?

Elisa: I’m the Senior Associate Director at IE Campus Life and I help lead the project management for students’ journeys beyond the classroom. My favorite part is the impact that we see our work have on students’ lives, both in the professional and personal spheres. IE University is all about continuous learning and—whether it is helping the students get out of their comfort zones and discover their passions, or ourselves learning from the students—we are consistently astounded by the lasting impact our jobs have.

Sofia: I would say the best part of IE Campus Life is the huge variety of things offered. They’re also very open and willing to talk to students.

Toki: I completely agree, Sofia. I see the IE University experience as a “build-a-bear” experience where you decide what your outcome will look like. There are many opportunities so you can always find something that fits your goals. The more work and time you invest in it, the more you will get out of it. You can be just a student, or you can be a founder, a member and an ambassador; it’s all up to you. 

Ida: Are there any highlights from the award ceremony that you’d like to share? 

Elisa: There are so many unique experiences with all the different student teams so it’s very difficult to only choose one. I did, however, enjoy seeing the IE University community be able to come together again since the pandemic and have more interactive connections in the new vertical campus. It was inspiring to see so many students jumping at the chance to get involved, organize events and launch new initiatives after such a difficult time of isolation within the academic world.

Sofia: I agree. The best part was just getting to be together with everyone in person again. It creates a really different atmosphere and I’m happy I got to be part of that. I am excited for the next type of event like this, and I know IE Campus Life is already talking about what we can collaborate on together next.

Ida: Why do you think you won one of the awards?

Toki: I won the IE Spirit Award and I believe I won it because I’m actively engaged in all kinds of different activities. For example, I’m the ambassador of the IE Center for Health, Well-Being and Happiness; Editor for the Resetting Homo Sapiens podcast; the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media Yearbook Chief Editor; and the Founder and President of the IE Archaeology Club, to name a few. However, I think working as the TEDxIEMadrid Co-director is what really helped me win. 

Ida: That’s very impressive, Toki. I’m sure it feels amazing to get recognition for the work you’ve put in and activities you’ve been doing. 

The Campus Life Community Awards showcase what the IE University community has to offer and its potential for the future. We’re very proud of all our winners and look forward to seeing what our students bring to our community next. 

CL Award

List of all winners:

Best New Club: IE Public Relations & Communications Club

Best New Initiative: Holi (Asia Club & India Club)

Best Social Media Account: IE Fashion Club

Best Arts & Humanities Club: IEU Arts Club

Best Community Impact Club: IE Charity & Social Awareness Club

Best Sports & Well-being Club: Padel Club

Best Federated Sports Team, Madrid: Men’s Football

Best Federated Sports Team, Segovia: Men’s Basketball

Best Diversity & Inclusion Club: IE Out & Allies Club

Best Sustainability Club: IE Net Impact Club

Best Tech & Innovation Club: IE Technology and Innovation Club

Best Professional Clubs: IE Consulting Club, IE Entrepreneurship Club & IE Finance and Capital Markets Club

Event of the Year: TEDxIEMadrid

Outstanding Advisor Award: Lucila Brandone

IE Spirit Award: Togzhan Kapenova

Special Mentions:

  • Walter Joseph Gonder
  • Javier Bueno Casado, Sagi Sheinkman
  • Music Club TOWER chapter
  • Carmen Laura Bravo
  • Chloe Eden, Yawen Johnson
  • Nefeli Chatzilia
  • Maria Ximena Sandoval Calderon
  • Pablo Chamorro Casero
  • Jacob Dane Chilton
  • Tony Rapp
  • Lily Barrera, Caroline LoMonaco, Charlotte Wedekind
  • Nur Younis
  • Tomás Moreno
  • Silvia Gosálvez
  • Landon Konzen, Tomás Lucero, Donovan Schar Davis