Three will receive GW Award at Commencement

GW will honor two graduate students and the director of Parent Services with the GW Award at this year’s University Commencement ceremony.

Andrew Brown and Omar Woodard, both graduate students, and Rodney Johnson will receive the award, which has recognized GW administrators, faculty, staff members and students since its inception in 1976.

Students and staff can nominate individuals for the award, and ultimately recipients are chosen by the Joint Committee of Faculty and Students.

Andrew Brown, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006, is now a graduate student in the School of Public Policy and Public Administration. As a senior, he founded Global Languages, a student organization that offers free language classes to the University community in more than 50 languages. Brown now manages a staff of more than 200 volunteers who teach language classes and help run the organization.

Brown said Global Language was partly founded out of his frustration with the lack of language classes offered by GW.

“It’s a part of offering more opportunities for people than GW was able to offer,” he said. “My idea was that language and culture should be accessible for everyone.”

Omar Woodard, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2005, is a Presidential Administrative Fellow and a candidate for a Masters of Public Administration degree with a focus on non-profit management in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. He became a GW Wall of Fame honoree in 2005. As an undergraduate, he was the president of the Student Association and the Black Student Union.

Rodney Johnson is the director of Parent Services, a department he helped establish at GW in 1991. Parent Services answers phone calls and e-mails from parents and puts out a newsletter that is sent out to more than 6,500 parents. He also plans information sessions for parents during the University’s annual Colonial Inauguration. Johnson is also a former assistant coach for the GW men’s basketball team.

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