The Top College Woman

Noorjahan Akbar '14

Noorjahan Akbar '14

Noorjahan Akbar '14 wins Glamour's grand-prize award

April 4, 2013

Update: Noorjahan Akbar '14 addressed members of the Dickinson community and the media during an April 8 event in the Stern Center for Global Education highlighting her achievement as the $20,000 grand-prize winner in Glamour magazine's and  L'Oreal Paris' Top 10 College Women 2013 competition. Listen to full audio from the event or watch the video interview below:


Glamour magazine and L'Oreal Paris named Noorjahan Akbar '14 the grand-prize winner in its Top 10 College Women competition in recognition of her efforts to foster gender equality in Afghanistan. Akbar, a native of Afghanistan who studies sociology at Dickinson, was also awarded $20,000 as part of the prize.

The Top 10 College Women program honors 10 women each year for campus leadership, scholastic achievement and community involvement. Awardees receive a cash prize, are featured in the national magazine and are introduced to leaders in a variety of fields.

Glamour magazine Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive (left) and Noorjahan Akbar '14 pose for photos during the Glamour and L'Oreal Paris Celebration for the Top 10 College Women 2013.

Glamour magazine Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive (left) and Noorjahan Akbar '14 pose for photos during the Glamour and L'Oreal Paris Celebration for the Top 10 College Women 2013.

Glamour 
additionally selects one grand-prize winner each year from among the 10 honorees. Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine, presented Akbar with that prize during an April 3 ceremony in New York City.

Akbar will be featured in the May issue of Glamour, which will hit newsstands on April 9. A profile on the Glamour Web site highlights her plans to launch a women's newspaper in her home country.

A Kabul native and leader in the Afghan gender-equality movement, Akbar led the first march against street harassment in Afghan history and helped open the country’s first all-female Internet café. She has previously been featured in Forbes’ annual “Most Powerful Women in the World” issue and in a USA Today article and a Fox News program about the efforts of the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund. She also has published a collection of children’s stories that has been distributed in seven provinces in Afghanistan.

Akbar came to Dickinson thanks to the efforts of a student and alumnus, Alex Motiuk ’14 and his father, Leo ’66. The Motiuks helped establish the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund (AGFAF) program, which enabled Akbar to attend Dickinson. Established in 2008 the AGFAF provides funding for tuition and living expenses to exceptional students who wish to pursue an education in the United States. It includes access to a support network, funding and facilitation of summer internships in Afghanistan, and an optional, precollege enrollment in a U.S. secondary prep school, which includes a host-family stay, to help ease the transition to Western culture prior to the students’ arrival on campus.

Published Apr. 4, 2013