Students, faculty, and clubs were commended for their efforts at tackling world problems on April 25 during the 8th annual Global Citizenship Project Awards.
With the theme of immigrants and refugees in mind, professors of various subjects such as Biology, Business, Speech Communication, History, and English selected more than a dozen students for the prestigious Student Curricular Awards. These individuals showed understanding and devotion to global issues in their works originally meant as assignments for class. These assignments ranged from Anthony Forlizzi’s speech about the misconceptions of Islam to Nilesh Gautam’s essay that proposed a solution to save civilians’ lives in areas of the world under conflict.
English professor and faculty liaison to the International Education Center Kelsey Maki and International Education Center director Janice Thomas served as co-hosts for the awards ceremony, with both stressing the importance of global citizenship at Brookdale.
“Global citizenship shows us our connections to each other and allows us to go outside the self,” Maki said . ”To me, education is about broadening horizons, and so students understanding global context is a really beneficial skill for students and for all of us actually.”
While students were commended for a single work, honorees Emily Abrecht, Victoria Cattelona, and Yasin Celik received a special Global Citizen Distinction for exhibiting remarkable commitment in global issues during their time at Brookdale.
During Abrecht’s acceptance speech, she credited Brookdale as one of the factors to her recent successes.
“I am overwhelmed with joy to be a student here at Brookdale. Today it finally hit me that I’m graduating and I am terribly sad that I will be moving on simply because this school was everything that I wanted,” Abrecht said. “And everything that I wanted in a school had to do with promoting diversity in global issues, affairs, and culture. And that’s what Brookdale does a great job at.”
She, along with Cattelona and Celik, are among a select few to receive the Global Citizenship Distinction.
Along with students, faculty members were also honored for their services. Institute Dean of Humanities Carl Calendar and psychology professor Elaine Olaoye received Lifetime Contribution Awards; Director of Student Life & Activities director Lauren Brutsman received the Outstanding Engagement Award, and the Reading Department at Brookdale received recognition for improving and expanding the curriculum.
Four clubs were commended for their work in helping the community in various ways: Dreamers+, International Student Association, The Innovation Network (TIN), and Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL).
WILL member Janai Freer was originally going to go to Brookdale strictly for classes and get off campus as soon as she had the opportunity, but through WILL, she became more involved with the community and is planning to revive the Black Student Union.
“WILL gives people the opportunity to express themselves on issues that really matter to them, in a space where they will be listened to and heard,” Freer said.
More students were awarded for the individual services to the community. Abrecht, who was also awarded the Global Citizen Distinction, was a recipient of the Student Service Award for her service learning in Ghana over the summer. Jack Linkin, who served as creative director to Collage: Journal of Art & Literature, was another recipient as he helped expand the publication to a more diverse audience. And EOF grantee Frederick Church was awarded the Student Service Award. He will study abroad in Japan in order to master Japanese.