Pardee School Celebrates 2019 Convocation

May 18, 2019

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The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies celebrated its convocation with a ceremony that brought together students, faculty and family for a day that commemorated the achievements of the Class of 2019.

The convocation was held Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena. A beautiful day greeted the approximately 2,000 guests and 30 faculty members who celebrated the new Pardee School alumni. 

“There are too many out there who would wish to divide you, who would highlight for you the differences that you have with others — with the other. Differences of race, of religion, of where you were born, of how you were born, of your lifestyle, even of your age, differences of the color of your skin. Ignore them — that is my charge to you. Be better than those who have gone before you. Heal wounds. Unite, not divide. Build bridges. Go forth Class of 2019 — be the builders of bridges. Make the world a better place,” said Pardee School Dean Adil Najam, addressing the graduates.

The 233 undergraduates and 58 graduate students will join the more than 9,000 alumni from programs currently under the purview of the Pardee School.

The Convocation ceremony included remarks from Najam, as well as the presentation of the following awards:

  • The Carole A. Chandler Citizenship Award, to Kristin Bruno and Andrew Benton Chiao
  • The CAS (College of Arts and Sciences) Prize for Undergraduate Academic Excellence, to Masha C. Vernik
  • The Pardee School Graduate Academic Excellence Award, to Leanne Renee Violette
  • The Pardee School Undergraduate Academic Excellence Award, to Christopher William BrownKatie Jane Diclemente and Ta-Wei Huang
  • The Amb. Hermann Frederick Eilts Graduate Thesis Award, to Mohammad Aumar Abaas Chaudhry
  • The Amb. Hermann Frederick Eilts Undergraduate Thesis Award, to Tal Salomon Dickstein
  • The Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family Prize for Faculty Excellence, to Amb. Robert Loftis

Awards were presented by Najam with assistance from Erik Goldstein, Pardee School Professor of International Relations and History; Thomas Berger, Pardee School Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA)Susan Eckstein, Pardee School Professor of International Relations and Sociology; and William Grimes, Pardee School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of International Relations and Political Science.

Pardee School Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of the Practice of International Relations Amb. Robert Loftis was assisted by Director of the African Studies Center and Professor of Anthropology Fallou Ngom and Igor Lukes, Pardee School Professor of International Relations and History, in the conferring of degrees to Master of Arts candidates.

Grimes was assisted in the conferring of degrees to Bachelor of Arts candidates by Min Ye, Pardee School Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of International Relations; Timothy Longman, Pardee School Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science and Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs; Adela Pineda, Professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Latin American StudiesJohn D. Woodward, Jr., Pardee School Professor of the Practice of International Relations; and Kevin Gallagher, Pardee School Professor of Global Development Policy and Director of the Global Development Policy (GDP) Center.

The ceremony also honored the students selected as members of the International Relations Honors Program. They are: Ziling Cheng, Christopher William Brown, Daniel Abramson, Christopher William Brown, Hallie Connolly Coyne, Tal Salomon Dickstein, Rebecca Faroro Giovannetti, Yujian He, Carolyn Faith       Hoffman, Ta-Wei Huang, Grace Siu Hing Taylor Li, Lavanya Prabhakar, Sydney Olivia Siwinski, Denise-Nicole W. Stone, Masha C. Vernik, and Carleen Ann Wenner. 

The IR Honors program is a yearlong intensive research project,” said Grimes. “The students who have been selected to participate in this program are among the most academically accomplished in their class. The program culminates in a thesis defense before a panel of BU professors representing a variety of disciplines.”

Graduating members of the Dean’s Ambassadors program were acknowledged in the Convocation bulletin. Dean’s Ambassadors are comprised of both graduate and undergraduate students and represent the Pardee School Dean and the school at special events, with prospective students, alumni, and distinguished guests. They serve as a liaison to the wider BU community as well as prospective students and families. Graduating members of the Dean’s Ambassadors program include: Laura Albast, Kristin Bruno, Roseanna Garcia, Xiao Sun, Yunhan Chen, Michael Mueller, Sarah Ritterspach, Ashlie Bermudez, Dionel Castillo, Hallie Coyne, Danica Derriennic, Ta-Wei Huang, Danielle Innocent, Lavanya Prabhakar, Nicholas Stenseng, Nebyat Teferra, and Danielle Wallner.

During the ceremony, Najam congratulated Pardee School Professors Michael Woldemariam and  Kaija Schilde on their recent promotions to the rank of Associate Professor with tenture. He also led a moment of silence in honor of the Pardee School faculty members who passed away over the last year including Augustus Richard Norton, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Anthropology, and Michael T. Corgan, Associate Professor of International Relations.

After the ceremony, students and guests enjoyed a reception, photobooth and the opportunity to reflect on their rite of passage. You can watch a recording of the ceremony below:

For more coverage of the Pardee School convocation ceremony, search the hashtag #PardeePride on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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