I am pleased to announce that I have selected two students to receive the 2010 President’s Award at commencement—Allison Gold and Seth Cutter. The President’s Award is the highest award presented to undergraduate students and is presented to the senior (or seniors) whose accomplishments over the course of his or her undergraduate years are truly exceptional and reflect the highest ideals of American University. Ms. Gold and Mr. Cutter will each receive $1000 and an engraved medal, to be presented at the School of Public Affairs commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 9.
Ms. Gold is a magna cum laude graduate majoring in political science, with minors in Environmental Studies and Israel Studies. Her interests and interdisciplinary coursework led to an internship with the Environmental Protection Agency, travel to Israel’s Negev desert to study rainwater harvesting and wastewater management, and internships with the U.S. State Department and the Embassy of Israel. Her contributions on campus include serving as vice president of the Jewish Student Association, coordinating the Freshman Service Experience, and serving as a mentor and teacher in SPA’s Leadership Program. After graduation, she plans to work in environmental or Middle Eastern policy.
Mr. Cutter is a double major in political science and philosophy and magna cum laude graduate. His career at AU exemplifies academic excellence and commitment to service. His unique background as Student Government president, then student trustee to the Board of Trustees, allowed him to foster relationships with various campus constituencies and to help these groups to better understand the other’s concerns. He conducted town hall meetings for students during the development of the new strategic plan, helped to expand EagleBucks and create the Student Health Center’s online appointment system, and provided important feedback on the creation of AU Central. Mr. Cutter has been a mentor in the SPA Leadership Program, an admissions ambassador, and musical director and accompanist for the Catholic Choir and Ensemble. He interned at the Department of Homeland Security, the National Association of Regional Councils, a congressional office, and for the governor’s office in Kentucky. He will pursue an MPA at the University of North Carolina, then pursue a career in local government.
In addition, we have 16 other student awards—honoring our Outstanding Scholarship, Outstanding Service, and Student Achievement Award recipients. These extraordinary students also receive a monetary award and will be recognized at commencement. A list of the awardees is on the University Awards Web site (www.american.edu/universityawards/Student-Awardees.cfm).
I hope you will join me in acknowledging the achievement of all of these students—their efforts to build community, their research and classroom contributions, and their examples of service and selflessness represent the best of AU.
AU's strategic plan, Leadership for a Changing World, outlines goals and objectives for the next decade at American University. Visit american.edu/strategicplan for more information. (myAU.american.edu login required for some documents)