SIS Awards 2018

School of International Service seal

Congratulations to our SIS faculty, alumni, staff, and student awardees of 2018!

SIS Winners of University Awards

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.

SIS Alumni Awards

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."

SIS Faculty Awards

SIS Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award
Ken Conca
Malini Ranganathan
SIS Outstanding Scholarship, Research, Creative Activity, and Other Professional Contributions
Robin Broad
Agustina Giraudy
SIS Outstanding Contributions to Fostering Collaborative Scholarship
Jonathan Fox
Derrick Cogburn
William Cromwell Award for Outstanding Teaching
Carolyn Gallaher
Adam Auerbach
Elizabeth Cohn
Darrell Randall Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community
Shoon Murray
Wanda Wigfall-Williams
Michael Schroeder
F. Gunther Eyck Award
Amanda Taylor
Outstanding SIS Faculty Mentor Award
Rachel Sullivan Robinson
Outstanding SIS Program Director
Sharon Weiner
Outstanding SIS Teaching in an Adjunct Faculty Position
Michael Warner
Benjamin Jensen
Bender Award Nominee
Carl LeVan

SIS Staff Awards

Outstanding Service to Students
Karen Ives, Program Coordinator, Intercultural and International Communication; Global Media; and Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs
Outstanding Team Player
Caleb Schmotter, Assistant Director of Research Promotion, formerly Program Coordinator, Comparative and Regional Studies
Outstanding Service to the University Community
Lindsey Brown, Undergraduate Career Advisor
Outstanding Service to the SIS Community
Jan Post, formerly Senior Director of Finance and Administration
Outstanding Performance
SIS Communications and Marketing Team: Kay Summers, Amy Zawada, Kaitie Catania, Sarah Quain
SIS Special Recognition
Abby Puskar, Personnel and Compliance Manager, Faculty Affairs, Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs

SIS Undergraduate Student Awards

SIS-Wide Outstanding Academic Achievement
Angela Pupino
Best Honors Project
Angela Pupino
Exemplary Achievement in Original Research
Amanda Borth
The Resonator
Bailey Wong
Frank Willis Scotton Award
Antonio Alvarez
Creative Work in International Studies Award
Oliver Hunter
Inspire the Professor Award
Suzanne Claeys
Dayana Sarova
Luke Theuma
Kris Trivedi
Charles H. Heimsath Memorial Award
Joshua Levesque
Marion Purcell Scholarship
Jenna Caldwell
Pittman B. Potter Award for Outstanding Scholarship in International Law and Organization
Zitian Sun
Excellence in Regional Studies Award
Olimar Rivera Noa
Thematic Area Award in Peace, Global Security, and Conflict Resolution
Catherine Schaper
Thematic Area Award in The Global Economy
Daniel Fitzgerald
Thematic Area Award in Foreign Policy and National Security
Bryce Rogers
Thematic Area Award in Global Inequality and Development
Maria Adamou
Thematic Area Award in Environmental Sustainability and Global Health
Xena Itzkowitz
Thematic Area Award in Identity, Race, Gender, and Culture
Shayna Vayser
Thematic Area Award in Justice, Ethics, and Human Rights
Francisco Herraiz
Thematic Area Award in Global and Comparative Governance
Chelsey Cao
Sigma Iota Rho
SIS also welcomed 55 new members into Sigma Iota Rho this year.

SIS Graduate Student Awards

Louis W. Goodman Award for Outstanding Academic Performance, SIS-Wide
Teresa García Castro
Outstanding Professional, Policy, or Practical Contribution
Jovianus Alden Hartopo
Outstanding Service on Campus
Kristina Biyad
Outstanding Service or Activism off Campus
Franak Viacorka
Louis W. Goodman Award for Outstanding Academic Performance
Victoria Hill
Alicja Duda
Erin Matson
M.E. Mildenberg
Corina Hendren
Nora Khatcherian
Ingrid Korsgard
Milad Abraham
Caitlin Stewart Lazar
Erica Wan Deren
Erin Kelly
Lorna Battista
Notable Professional or Policy Contribution
Jessica Loesberg
Wendy Atieno
Jacob Klein
Rebecca Villalobos
Aubrey Manahan
Brian Clark
Kei-Retta Farrell
Ryan Gibson
Notable Service
Abrar A. Rageh
Jordan LaCrosse
Rina Fetahaj
Alma Burke
Ashley Muse
Aya Aljamili
Kiara Colon-Torres
John Austerman
Terrance Stevenson
Pittman B. Potter Award for Outstanding Scholarship in International Law and Organization
Emily Nevala
Mahmoud Hamid Award for Notable Professional, Policy, or Practical Contribution
Baani Behniwal
Dr. Mehdi Heravi Internship Fund Recipients
Michael Dye
Melina Villavicencio

SIS Doctoral Student Awards

Excellence in Research Assistance
Matthew Hartwell
William C. Olson Award for Outstanding Teaching by a PhD
Jong Eun Lee
Samuel L. Sharp Memorial Prize for Creative Work in International Relations
Kimberly Tower

SIS Winners of External Awards

Boren Fellowship
David Buchan
Ryan Gibson
Erin Kelly
David Ly
Devyani Mehta
Katie Rosser
Ingrid Korsgard
Meredith Mantel (Alternate)
Daniel Shaffer (Alternate)
Boren Scholarship
Faith Gay
Rachel Kronk
Adam Majeski
Ashley Do (Alternate)
Rachel Palmer (Alternate)
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship
Melanie MacKenzie
Yelizaveta Layer (Finalist)
Jillian Skonieczka (Finalist)
Luke Theuma (Finalist)
Critical Language Scholarship
Victoria Blymier
Kathleen Connolly
Aaron Franke
Faith Gay
Kale Mohammed
Daniel Herschlag (Alternate)
Sophie Levy (Alternate)
David Ly (Alternate)
Abigail Stahl (Alternate)
Lauren McBroom (Alternate)
Luke Theuma (Finalist)
Fullbright Summer UK Institutes
Jack Yamai (Finalist)
Lauren Monahan (Finalist)
Tseganesh Tadele (Finalist)
Fulbright Study/Research
Kathryn Bond (Finalist)
Annisah Smith
Will McHenry (Finalist)
Alfa Fellowship
Ingrid Korsgard
America India Foundation Clinton Fellowship
Michael Kinzer
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
Mikayla Appell (Alternate)
Gilman Scholarship
Reagan Williams
Kaitlyn You
Emma Spaide (Alternate)
Omar Varela (Alternate)
Emerson Hunger Fellows Program
Angela Pupino (Finalist)
Princeton in Africa
Deborah Carey
Rachel Rokes (Finalist)
Princeton in Latin America
Laura Alvarez
Freeman Asia
Emma Spaide
Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship
Daniela Martinez Berrios
Fullbright Canada Youth Institute on Canada in the World
Maxwell Glas
Rangel Fellowship
Sun Yan (Amy) Lau
Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship
Michal Petros (Alternate)
Pickering Fellowship
Nicole Burnett (Finalist)
Udall Scholarship
Zizhan Luo
Nathan Sidell (Honorable Mention)