Graduating Seniors from the Class of 2019 and Faculty are Honored at Tropaia Awards
Outstanding members of the graduating Class of 2019 were recognized for their academic excellence, extracurricular achievements, and induction into prestigious honor societies at the Tropaia Awards Exercises held on May 8, 2019, marking the successful end of their four years as undergraduate students. The awards ceremony also honored members of the faculty and staff who have demonstrated notable dedication to the mission and values of the university, and who have made a lasting impact on students.
At the ceremony and dinner, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, dean of Georgetown University in Qatar, welcomed the students, their proud family members, faculty and staff. Addressing the 64 graduates in the Class of 2019, he said: “We hope that gaining your degree has lit an eternal spark of curiosity within you that will drive you to continue on a lifelong quest for knowledge. Through your creativity and courage, you will meet the hopes of your community, your society, and your country in confronting the issues of the day and constructing a promising tomorrow.”
Dean Dallal also made remarks in tribute to Special Assistant to the Provost and Registrar Emeritus, John Q. Pierce, who served as Chief Marshall at Commencement the following day, on the occasion of his retirement following over 40 years of service as University Registrar. “John’s leaving marks the end of an era for GU-Q. Since the first graduating class received their diplomas in 2009, John has been guiding GU-Q’s commencement ceremonies and taking part in the Tropaia awards ceremony in celebration of academic excellence forged on a new campus, and in a dynamic region of the world.”
Dr. Phoebe Musandu announced the winners of the three honor societies for economics, political science, and history, saying: “Honor societies hold a special place in the celebration of scholarly excellence. Governed by boards of accomplished scholars, and employing rigorous standards for admission to their ranks, honor societies recognize excellence and achievement in many academic disciplines on a national and, indeed, international level.” National honor society inductions included Omicron Delta Epsilon, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Alpha Theta.
Rev. Mark Bosco, Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown University on main campus announced the inductees into Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, for their excellence in scholarship and service to others.
Announcing the two students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the National Academic Honor Society, Dr. Jeremy Koons said: “Fewer than 1% of graduates from American universities are invited to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, which has become the sine qua non of outstanding achievement in the liberal arts and sciences.”
Dr. Koons also announced the Latin Honors for the graduating class, recognizing Shiza Abbasi, Asma AlJehani, Bashayer Al-Mulla, and Shereen Elsayed for graduating cum laude, or “with honor”, and Obadah Diab and John Christian Robling graduating magna cum laude, or “with great honor.”
Awards were also given for Honors in the Major, students who distinguished themselves in the major by completing a thesis, as well as recognition for the achievement of Certificates in Arab and Regional Studies, American Studies, and Media and Politics.
Associate Professor and Faculty Chairperson, Dr. Reza Pirbhai, was on hand to announce the Faculty Awards, which recognize top performing students within each major, and within each Certificate program. The Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali Faculty Award was presented to Obadah Diab, one of the big winners of the evening. Obadah also won the Dean’s Medal for the highest scholastic average during undergraduate study, the IECO Outstanding Student Award, Honors in the Major, and was inducted into three honor societies.
John Robling, another big winner of the evening, announced the winners of the staff and faculty awards. John also earned induction into four honor societies over the course of the evening. To thunderous applause from students showing their respect and appreciation, the Senior Staff Appreciation Award this year went to Technology and Instructional Librarian Robert Laws. Accolades continued for the announcement of the Faculty Member of the Year, Professor and Director of CIRS, Dr. Mehran Kamrava.
Other highlights included the Student Development Awards, comprised of the Ambassador Award, the Georgetown Leadership Award, the Georgetown Engagement Award, the Community in Diversity Award, and the Blue & Gray Award. Winners included seniors Asma AlJehani, Dialla Jandali, Zaubash Shakir, Sameera Abed, and Katharine Danilowicz. It also included the Hoya Leadership Pathway Award, Gold Medal, which went to Ameni Abida, Rafia Al-Jassim, Normeanne Sison, and Zaubash Shakir.
To conclude the evening ceremony, Jamal Khatib delivered a rousing senior class speech that evoked tears of laughter as well as cheerful applause with a poem that mentioned other students, faculty, the family whose support made their graduation possible, and advice for future success. The members of the Class of 2019 were officially inducted into the Alumni community by Assistant Director for Admissions, Mariam Lachin, making up over 500 alumni who have graduated from GU-Q since it opened its doors in Qatar in 2005. The 2019 graduates earned the same globally recognized Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree that is offered on Georgetown’s campus in Washington, D.C.