Awards spotlight seniors

Three GW seniors are among fifty graduating students across the country selected for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship and will be honored at Commencement with other award winners.

Two seniors, Jason Cohen and Roger Kapoor, will be awarded the GW Award for exemplary service at Sunday’s ceremony on the Ellipse.

Arnab Mukherjee of Alpharetta, Ga., D.C. resident Wai-Ying Chow and Joel M. Dabu of Arlington, Va. were selected for the award, which pays for the students’ graduate school tuition up to $300,000.

The three graduates are among 50 winners of 675 that applied for the new scholarship. The application included six essays.

Chow is graduating with a degree in psychology and plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology at Arizona State University, specializing in adolescence and community prevention. She said she has always been involved with adolescents, coaching volleyball for five seasons at her high school, the School Without Walls on G Street.

Chow said she has also interned for a private special education school, where she worked with adolescents diagnosed with learning and emotional behavior problems.

Dabu will receive a degree in American Studies and is interested in pursuing a career in urban planning. He plays the cello and has been involved with the GW Symphony Orchestra and String Quartet, as well as the GW Philippine Cultural Society. Dabu plans to study urban development at New York University.

“I’ve been thinking of going to law school to combine that with my planning degree,” he said.

Dabu said he would like to come back to D.C. and possibly start an urban planning program at GW.

Arnab Mukherjee is graduating with a degree in psychology and will attend the NYU School of Medicine next year. He has already started research on a device that would help patients with heart trouble detect heart problems at home.

Mukherjee has volunteered with programs such as D.C. Reads and traveled to Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Mexico.

“I’m not sure what field of medicine I will go into, but I want to
get involved in some medical research along with clinical work,” Mukherjee said.

Matthew Quinn, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke foundation, said these candidates were selected because they best fulfilled the criteria for the scholarship. He said the organization looks for academic ability, leadership, service and an ability to succeed and overcome obstacles.

“We’re looking for young people of exceptional promise, to help them realize that promise through education,” Quinn said.

Cohen and Kapoor will be awarded the 26-year-old GW Award with two faculty and two staff members. They will be joined by:
 Edward A. Caress, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences executive associate dean and professor of chemistry
 Joel W. Cook, School of Business and Business Management associate dean, undergraduate program and associate professor of strategic management
 Diane DePalma, director of the University Counseling Center
 Truyen Pham, senior information systems engineer of Information Systems and Services Division

Cohen, WRGW general manager, has helped revitalize the radio station for four years. Since 1998, he has helped Marvin Center administrators to plan and equip a new studio, and effectively managed a student staff of almost 200 students.

Cohen also oversaw the addition of “GW Presents Capital Jazz,” a two-hour radio program, to commercial airwaves by helping create a partnership with the Smithsonian Associates Program, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

President of the Student Association, Kapoor one of only eight students in GW’s seven-year BA/M.D. program. He was recently named to USA Today’s All Academic Team.

As SA president, Kapoor implemented a “classroom task force” that worked with administrators to open more sections of popular classes and authored legislation to keep American sign language classes on the GW

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