For some students, GW years are merely a springboard to hoped-for heights. Others get a little dirtier, a little richer in the soil – creating root systems to nourish the University and District communities.
Some of these community-minded students were acknowledged during the 13th annual Excellence in Student Life Awards Thursday.
Senior Rusty Stahl received the Gail Short Hanson Outstanding Service Award.
“He has always been a community-builder within and beyond GW,” said Jonathan Pompan, chair of the Marvin Center Governing Board.
Stahl formed the Student Action Alliance and Community Circle, which joined in service students from several D.C. universities. He was also a member of the AmeriCorps Program and a national co-chair of the Youth Democratic Action Council.
Pompan, a senior, was an SA senator his freshman year, and was the SA’s first Dining Services Commission director. He then joined the Marvin Center Governing Board, which he served as vice-chair and chair.
“No matter where you are, you should care about improving your community,” Pompan said. “Ultimately we’re all going to be tied to this University for life. It’s incumbent upon us to make it the best it can be.”
Adam Segal was honored for his work as president of College Democrats, GW Friends of Israel and Thurston Hall Council.
“It feels wonderful to have been recognized by the GW community for the tireless organizing that I’ve done over the past three years,” Segal said.
Segal said the type of students at GW allowed him to be successful in his roles.
“I think GW students are unique because they are proactive, politically astute and socially aware,” he said. “This has helped me be more successful in organizing programs on campus.”
Mohamad Chakaki, former president of the Muslim Student Association, was honored as well. He has been involved in the Program Board’s International Week and Religion Month.
Tameshiah Murphy, president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, received the award for organizing the chapter’s community service efforts. She also started Word Up! Bible Study in 1995, which, according to the Student Activities Center, has grown from three to 40 members.
Neil Smith was recognized for his participation as co-captain of the varsity cheerleading squad and as president of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. Smith also helped develop the first Greek Forum and is president-elect of the Interfraternity Council.
Senior Soraya Tabibi was honored for her extensive work on the Program Board. Tabibi was PB’s executive chair this year. She is credited with organizing the University’s 175th anniversary Homecoming celebration.
Six members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority were recognized for their unwavering commitment to community service as part of the registered student organization awards.
The Black People’s Union, College Democrats, EMeRG and the Philippine Cultural Society also received student organization awards.
Student Leadership Development Scholarships went to Patrick Preston, Alexis Rice, Ramya Vivekanandan, Katherine Weil and Heidi Wicker.