Ali Family Memorial Prize will recognize student written work in health policy

February 6, 2024

Starting this semester, Ford School students will have a new opportunity to earn recognition for their work in the field of health policy. The Ali Family Memorial Prize will be awarded annually to a Ford School student or group of students for written work that researches, analyzes, or contributes to a further understanding of health-related policy concerns.

The prize was established with a gift from associate professor of practice Javed Ali and his sister Meher Ali to honor their parents, Dr. Shafqat and Dr. Zaheda Ali. Dr. Shafqat and Dr. Ali were born in India and spent their lives as medical professionals practicing in New York and Great Britain before settling in southeast Michigan in the early 1970s. They made Michigan their home for several decades after.

“My parents were dedicated to serving and helping those around them as physicians,” Javed Ali said. “They also recognized there was a bigger world around us, and how important it was to understand the importance of how their work in Michigan connected to their upbringing and education in India before moving to the United States.  This prize will allow us to celebrate their memory given its focus on public health, and my sister and I look forward to supporting this gift for years to come." 

“Our parents were incredible role models to Javed and me, and instilled in us the values of hard work, service in our communities, and compassion for those less fortunate. We hope the recipients of this award also embrace these values in addition to their academic insights on different health policy issues,” said Meher Ali. 

Students in the degree programs of the Ford School of Public Policy (BA, MPP, MPA, or PhD) are qualified to submit work for consideration. This could include, but is not limited to, policy-focused writing that addresses issues in healthcare, health insurance, public health, population health, environmental health, or that explicitly addresses the social determinants or drivers of health such as food, housing, education, income, transportation, etc. A $3,000 prize will be awarded annually.

The inaugural award winner will be announced toward the end of the 2024 winter semester. Students interested in entering a submission can learn more on the intranet.