Congratulations to our SIS faculty, alumni, staff, and student awardees of 2018!
- SIS Winners of University Awards
- SIS Alumni Awards
- SIS Faculty Awards
- SIS Staff Awards
- SIS Undergraduate Student Awards
- SIS Graduate Student Award
- SIS Doctoral Student Award
- SIS Winners of External Award
Faculty Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community
Professor Shoon Murray
Student Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community
For Belinda Peter, SIS/MA '18, creating a more inclusive campus is a professional and academic passion. Working in Development and Alumni Relations, she has helped connect alumni to students by working with several alumni affinity groups and being a key planner in the Black and Latinx graduation celebrations. As a graduate student in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program, her studies made her an ideal candidate to take part in AU Connects, a campus-wide inclusion initiative that provides trained facilitators who can help guide constructive conversations around issues of race and ethnicity.
"Helping facilitate and being part of incredibly honest and crucial conversations on campus has not always been easy, but I have always walked away better for the experience," Peter said. "AU Connects gave me a chance to put into practice what I learned in my classrooms."
Carlton Savage Student Achievement Award
Carlton Savage Award recipient Sigrid Ulsnes, SIS/BA '18, is possibly the face international students see the most. Ulsnes was vice president of the International Student Association, helped arrange the International Fall Gala and the Spring Cultural Festival, and assisted with the Language Exchange Program. In the role of international student orientation coordinator, Ulsnes helped welcome nearly 600 international students and recruit 50 orientation leaders. And as a student staff member for International Student & Scholar Services, Ulsnes aided many students in handling their immigration documentation.
"It has been important, especially in the last year, to create a space where all students feel welcome and to create such a space and assist international students in navigating AU," Ulsnes said.
Charles W. Van Way Student Achievement Award
Charles W. Van Way Award recipient Olimar Rivera Noa, SIS/BA '18, built community at AU through her roles with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, as a teaching assistant, and in her creation of the Puerto Rican Student Organization. Rivera Noa mobilized her fellow students in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which hit her home of Puerto Rico.
"The support and solidarity we received from students, faculty, and staff members kept us hopeful and gave us strength to continue to work and build a cooperative network of Bouricuas," Rivera Noa said.
Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level Award
Brian Clark, SIS/MA '18, and Erin Matson, SIS/MA '18, are both being recognized with the Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level Award. Clark maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving as the US Naval attaché to the Republic of the Philippines at the US embassy in Manila. Despite being 12-time zones away from campus, Clark attended every weekly live session of the International Relations online program. Clark's recent research centered on international negotiation and conflict resolution, which has been critical in helping the embassy gain a deeper understanding of conflict causes and cultural. "The opportunity to direct my research throughout my IR program to topics germane to what I actually do was invaluable, from gaining a deeper understanding of the dynamics of US/Philippine basing negotiations, to post-conflict transitions in Marawi City," Clark said. Matson also maintained a 4.0 GPA in SIS's Global Environmental Policy Program. Matson's passion for sustainable farming, food systems, and racial and environmental justice comes back to her experience as founder of an organic urban farming business in Chicago. As a research assistant, Matson gained praise from professors for her creativity, intellectual savvy, and her ability to synthesize even the most obscure resources. "My own research on Chicago urban farmers' perceptions of and engagement with climate change will, I hope, serve some future utility as policymakers and practitioners seek to translate global discourses on climate change mitigation and adaptation into tangible action at a community-scale," Matson said.
See a full list of University Student Award winners across all schools.
2018 SIS Alumnus/a of the Year Award
Dawn Miller, SIS/BA '93
Dawn Miller is President and Chief Executive Officer of AXA Insurance Company, AXA's US Commercial Insurance business, as well as the global lead for AXA's Women as Entrepreneurs initiative. Prior to joining AXA, Miller worked as the Head of Client Engagement for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at American International Group. She was named a Young Leader of Tomorrow by the International Insurance Society in 2015 Miller was recently included in a list of six SIS women who paved the way for this generation, which highlighted her success as a woman in her field.
"My years at American University's School of International Studies served as a gateway to all the opportunities that Washington has to offer: internships, urban living, and the ability to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives," says Miller. "These experiences gave me the foundation to explore and develop the skill set for a global career, including pushing forward AXA's main goals of building sustainable economies, resilient communities, and healthy populations."
Ettore Leale, SIS/BA '91
Ettore Leale is a business builder, investor, and advisor in the technology industry who has grown companies from inception to global scale. Focused on the internet since 1997, Leale's sector experience includes digital media, digital advertising, software, and online education. Earlier in his career, Leale served for the Red Cross where he structured and implemented mass feeding programs for the besieged and refugee populations of the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans. After graduating from SIS in 1991, Leale earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997.
"SIS transformed my understanding of the world. I was lucky to participate in a study abroad program in Berlin in 1990 at the time of the German re-unification, and in Buenos Aires in 1989 at the time of 4,000% hyperinflation," says Leale. "SIS also led to my first job with the Red Cross and the wars in Yugoslavia. As I reflect on the 60th anniversary of the school, I cannot think of a more important time for educating thoughtful leaders who make a positive difference in the world. I am impressed by the growth and the impact of the school, and I am thrilled to reconnect with the SIS community."