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NOBODY DOES IT BETTER $8 million gift expands the Clark Engineering Scholars Program




BILLION A billion dollars can do a lot of great. Your gifts provide scholarships, research funding, and programmatic support. We know some people who want to say thanks.


Grateful students wrote 1,400 thank you notes to donors on GW Flag Day Page 8

Summer 2016







SEAS’ Clark Engineering Scholars Program expands thanks to an $8 million gift. Scholars share highlights from the program and plans for the future


Director Erica Brown discusses the goals and research priorities for the new Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership

Why I Give

GW alumnus creates three endowed funds through planned gifts


The Riordan family takes pride in supporting the GW community through family philanthropy


Five unique funding opportunities support hands-on experiences, student scholarships, internships, and career services


Hear from six students whose lives have been changed thanks to scholarships and fellowships

Student Services

Two programs funded by family philanthropy provide special support to students


2017 Power & Promise Celebration


I am thrilled to announce that thanks to your dedication and leadership, GW has surpassed its $1 billion Making History campaign goal. We couldn’t have done it without your support, engagement, and encouragement. And we won’t stop here. Your gifts support GW students inside and outside of the classroom, enabling them to create #OnlyatGW experiences. Your donations also advance the work of our faculty, who discover answers to big questions and demonstrate excellence in teaching every day. Some of these incredible individuals are highlighted in this issue of Impact. In our cover story (p. 10), you’ll meet a group of our Clark Scholars who participate in a rigorous engineering program made possible by a generous gift from the late A. James Clark, HON ’10, of Clark Enterprises. The program was expanded this year thanks to a further commitment from the Clark Charitable Foundation. These Colonials exemplify how philanthropy can change lives and inspire greatness in students who, without the support, may not have been able to come to GW. In our Student Support section (p. 20), you’ll hear from six amazing students who have seen doors open due to philanthropy. Juan Mejia, a graduate student at GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, hopes to professionalize

politics in his native Guatemala. Demetria Clark, a graduate student in GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, is working with autistic children in a D.C. public school. And Moshe Pasternak, a political science major in GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, has seized every opportunity that has come his way because of his scholarship. While we celebrate our campaign achievement, we are also reminded that it’s only the beginning of what we can accomplish for students, faculty, and the broader community. That means providing additional funds for scholarships, valuable internships, and student experiences and services. It also means more academic and research dollars for faculty, so they can dive into new projects and enhance their methods of discovery and innovation. All of this is possible because you give to GW and believe in what we do. Thank you for your support and for getting us to this history-making milestone.  GW With GW pride,

“While we

celebrate this achievement, we are also reminded that it’s only the beginning of what we can accomplish for students and faculty, and the broader community.”

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Matthew R. Manfra Interim Vice President Development and Alumni Relations


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TWO ENDOWED PROFESSORS INSTALLED On February 8, Edward Seto, an internationally recognized scientist and leader in the field of cancer epigenetics, was installed as the King Fahd Professor of Cancer Biology. This endowed chair was created by a gift from the estate of King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who ruled Saudi Arabia from 1982 until his death in 2005. The support from the late Saudi king will enable Seto, associate director for basic sciences at the George Washington University Cancer Center and professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, to further his work on a cure for cancer. Seto’s research focuses on epigenetics, the study of biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off, and histone deacetylase enzymes, which can affect gene expression without altering DNA. By regulating gene expression, Seto is working to turn off the bad genes and return cancer cells back to normal cells.

“I’m honored today to be given this opportunity to contribute, no matter how small, to the GW Cancer Center…” — Edward Seto

“I’m honored today to be given this opportunity to contribute, no matter how small, to the GW Cancer Center, the medical school, the university, and to the educational ambitions and goals of the late King Fahd,” said Seto at his installation. King Fahd was “somebody who cared very much about education,” according to his nephew, Abdullah Al-Saud, ambassador to the United States at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and GW, under King Fahd’s leadership, began combining efforts in education in the 1990s, said Forrest Maltzman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at GW. The relationship has continued to grow, culminating in the installation. “We are grateful for King Fahd’s vision and generosity,” Maltzman said. “The King Fahd Professorship of Cancer Biology will enhance the ability of Seto and support the GW Cancer Center’s research initiatives.”

“The Patrick Martin Foundation has such a history of supporting education and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

— Robert Pless

On April 19, the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) installed Robert Pless as the Patrick and Donna Martin Professor of Computer Science and chair of the Department of Computer Science. Pless joined SEAS in January after 16 years on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis. “The installation of a faculty member in an endowed professorship is truly a seminal event both in the career of the person receiving the honor and certainly, too, in the life of the school and in the university,” said SEAS Dean David Dolling. “We’re truly indebted

Martin Foundation has such a history of supporting education and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Pless. “I hope to be able to live up to their ideals through the teaching and research that this endowment makes possible.” The gift from Patrick Martin, MS ’66, PhD ’72, and his wife reflects his long-standing relationship with GW. He is a former member of both the SEAS National Advisory Council and the GW Board of Trustees. He was honored with GW’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1997, and was inducted into the GW Engineering

to Patrick and Donna Martin for their generosity.” During his remarks, Pless discussed two of his major research projects, noting the profound impact that computing has on daily life. He also emphasized the impact that the gift of an endowed professorship can have on research. “I’m deeply honored to be the Patrick and Donna Martin Professor of Computer Science, especially because the Patrick

Hall of Fame in 2006. “Our gift is both a recognition of all that SEAS and GW have accomplished and an enabler to help the school grow in quality and reputation,” Martin said in a GW Today article earlier this year. “In our case, we focused on computer science, in part because that was my field of research, but primarily because the school identified computer science both as a need and an opportunity.” MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW






Amanda Charney


Craig Burdick Joan Ochi Julia Parmley, MPS ’10 Lauren Savoy, MA ’15


Mary Follin Michele Lynn Sophia Ota, SMPA ’18 Caroline Trent-Gurbuz





William Atkins Jaclyn Lippelmann Amanda Lomax Logan Werlinger


Michelle Wandres Impact is published by the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, The George Washington University, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052. Please send change-of-address notices to us online at, via email to, or by post to Alumni Records, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20052. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the university. The George Washington University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Cover photos: William Atkins and Logan Werlinger

Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions? Contact us at

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UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES INSTITUTE FOR KOREAN STUDIES GW’s Institute for Korean Studies, whose mission is to strengthen and grow GW’s existing Korean studies program while promoting Korean humanities and research in the nation’s capital and beyond, launched January 12. The institute was created through support from the Academy for Korean Studies and will be housed in the Sigur Center for Asian Studies in the Elliott School of International Affairs. Jisoo Kim, the Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Language and Literatures, will lead the institute and focus on three goals. The institute will expand GW’s Korean studies infrastructure

and create links between the humanities and fields such as business and engineering; engage in outreach to professionals and policymakers to introduce fresh perspectives on Korea’s history, literature, and culture; and develop a robust Korean studies curriculum through new programs and student experiences. The institute enhances GW’s long history of engagement with South Korea. “The GW Institute for Korean Studies will ensure that Korean humanities will have a strong and abiding presence in the heart of this nation’s capital and will also help cement GW’s position as a global leader in Korean studies,” said GW President Steven Knapp.

$4.8 MILLION BEQUEST FUNDS NEW PROFESSORSHIP IN GW SCHOOL OF BUSINESS The George Washington University School of Business received an anonymous $4.8 million gift commitment to fund a new professorship in the school. The gift is a bequest from the donor’s estate. “This endowed professorship will provide our outstanding faculty with significant resources as we continue to grow the body of meaningful scholarship and teaching excellence conducted at the GW School of Business,” said Dean Linda Livingstone. “We are deeply grateful for the generous gift and the impact it will have on the future of the school.”

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Mitch Blaser, BBA ’73, P ‘07, ‘10, has made a $1.2 million gift to support the F. David Fowler Career Center at GW’s School of Business. The charitable lead trust gift provides current-use support of priority initiatives and programs and creates the Blaser Family Endowed Executive Director. “There are so many ways we can support students in their quest for a career from supporting mock interviews, resume preparation, internship and entry-level job opportunities to the networking and guidance that mentoring can provide,” Blaser said. “The Career Center is the vehicle that students should have at their disposal to access these resources as well as gain the benefit of the counselors’ advice and direction as they navigate through their options.” Blaser, a GW parent who has chaired both GW’s School of Business Board of Advisors and the Parents Council, chose to direct his gift toward the endowed director position after he interviewed candidates for the position. “I had the privilege of interviewing and recommending the hiring of Gil Yancey, and I believe that his leadership and the leadership of those who follow him is vital to the success of the Career Center,” he said.

CAMPAIGN STEERING COMMITTEE A well-deserved thank you goes to the Making History Campaign Steering Committee, which advised the university and its leadership on strategy and volunteer engage­ment to help us cross the $1 billion mark one year early! Thank you to this esteemed group of alumni, friends, trustees, and donors. The Honorable B.J. Penn, MS ‘80 Campaign Chair W. Scott Amey, MS ‘75 Bruce P. Baganz, Friend Charlotte A. Beales, BA ‘73 Mitchell E. Blaser, BBA ‘73 Fred L. Brown, MBA ‘66 Weston D. Burnett, Esq., JD ‘75, LLM ‘83 Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr., BS ‘85 Gilbert R. Cisneros, BA ‘94 W. Thomas Curtis, BA ‘81, MS ‘95 Laura Taddeucci Downs, BA ‘92, MA ‘95 Steven D. Frenkil, BA ‘74 I. Allan From, BBA ‘72 Jack N. Gerard, Esq., BA ‘84, JD ‘90 Edward Greissing, Friend Aran Hegarty, BS ‘97 Kimberly Humphries, BA ‘91

Because of their belief in the power of education to create change and foster social mobility, GW alumnus Ali Kolaghassi and his wife, Lama—parents of a GW sophomore—have established a scholarship fund for students from King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan. The Ali and Lama Kolaghassi Scholarship Fund will provide a full undergraduate scholarship that will cover the cost for one student at a time to attend GW for up to four years—including tuition, room and board, and other associated expenses. The first recipient could enroll as early as fall 2018. “We are grateful to Ali and Lama Kolaghassi for their generosity and their exemplary support of the George Washington University,” said GW

President Steven Knapp. “The Kolaghassi Scholarship will further enhance our ability to recruit and retain students who will enrich the global diversity of our student body and go on to become leaders in their communities.” “I encourage all alumni— regardless of their capacity and the amount they are able to contribute—to support education,” said Kolaghassi. “So many of the world’s current challenges are directly linked to the absence of education and, consequently, a lack of opportunities. If everyone contributed even a small amount, we could make a real tangible difference in addressing and solving some of these critical problems.”


Madeleine S. Jacobs, BA ‘68, HON ‘03 Jean E. Johnson, PhD ‘93 Dr. Stuart S. Kassan, MD ‘72 Dr. Jay E. Katzen, BA ‘67, MD ‘72 Dorothy Adele Moore, Emeritus Faculty Dr. Lara S. Oboler, MD ‘95 Mark J. Penn, P ’10 Steven S. Ross, BBA ‘81 Eugene H. Rotberg, Esq., Former Staff Michelle D. Rubin, BA ‘91 Mark R. Shenkman, MBA ‘67 Clifford B. Stearns, BS ‘63 Cynthia Steele Vance, BA ‘79 Lorraine A. Voles, BA ‘81



GW STUDENT-ATHLETE ALUMNI PAY IT FORWARD GW men’s water polo earned an extra $10,000 in the Buff & Blue Fund Challenge, an annual competition among the alumni of GW’s 27 varsity sports, garnering the first-place and most-improved prizes. In the challenge, each varsity team competes for the highest percentage of gifts from its alumni and seniors, who give through the Senior Class Gift program. By the end of the challenge, more than 22 percent of GW student-athlete alumni had contributed in the 2017 fiscal year, an increase over last year’s 18 percent. “GW is committed to providing the best possible resources each and every year to our 500 student-athletes,” said Patrick Nero, director of athletics and recreation. “Our 22 percent giving rate proves the value of the GW student-athlete experience and our alumni community’s commitment to paying it forward to the next generation of Colonials.” This year’s challenge was made possible by a $20,000 gift from Michelle Rubin, BA ’91, chair of the GW Ath­ letics Advisory Council. “I’m so proud of my fellow alumni for stepping up and improving our giving rate by more than 200 alumni,” Rubin said. “The entire GW alumni community takes pride in supporting the Colonials, and our student-athlete alumni are leading the way.”

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THOMAS LEBLANC NAMED AS NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY Thomas J. LeBlanc, an accomplished academic leader, administrator, and professor, will become the 17th president of GW this August. LeBlanc currently serves as executive vice president, provost, and professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Miami. “It is a tremendous honor to be selected to lead the George Washington University,” said LeBlanc. “I look forward to building on the work of President Knapp, the board of trustees, and the university’s outstanding students, faculty, and staff who have contributed to creating not only a world-class research university, but also a vibrant and distinctive educational experience in the heart of our nation’s capital.” LeBlanc earned a bachelor of science in computer science from the State University of New York and a master of science and doctorate in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. “Dr. LeBlanc embodies the qualities the university community articulated through more than 30 town halls and meetings with faculty, students, staff, and alumni, as well as leaders and members from the local community,” said Nelson Carbonell, BS ’85, chairman of the board of trustees. “We have worked hard to find a proven leader who can bring GW to new heights, and I believe we have found the ideal person to lead the university into its third century.”

JOHN AND ANNE ROLLINS ENDOWED FUND FOR STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSHIP John W. Rollins, founder of the GW Business Plan Competition (recently renamed the GW New Venture Competition), made a $100,000 planned gift to establish the John and Anne Rollins Endowed Fund for Student Entrepreneurship. A longtime friend of GW, Rollins has served as adjunct professor for entrepreneurship at the GW School of Business and vice chair of the GWSB Board of Advisors. The GW New Venture Competition provides a real-world educational experience in developing, testing, and launching startup ventures and has grown to be the fifth-largest collegiate business plan competition in the United States.

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INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION Two foundations have announced grants to support diverse initiatives at GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life has invested in the Modern Jewish e-Hall of Fame project, whose goal is to engage young Jews with historical and contemporary figures of significance to modern Jewish life. Through a national contest, students will create virtual exhibitions that share the lives and contributions of notable Jewish figures, including Bella Abzug, Sandy Koufax, and Jonas Salk. Prize-winning exhibitions will be featured in an interactive virtual museum where visitors will explore Jewish trailblazers in the worlds of science, industry, sports, entertainment, politics, and other fields of American life. The project team comprises Benjamin Jacobs, visiting associate professor in experiential education and Jewish cultural arts; Jonathan Krasner, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Chair of Jewish Education Research at Brandeis University; and Cynthia Peterman, project director. The Steinhardt Foundation, founded in 1994 by philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, works to support and revitalize Jewish identity through educational and cultural initiatives. The Walton Family Foundation has awarded a three-year, $780,000 grant to Joshua Glazer, associate professor of education policy, to study an innovative effort aimed at improving the lowestperforming schools in Shelby County, Tennessee. The schools under investigation are confronted with extreme educational and social challenges characteristic of highpoverty environments, including high levels of student mobility, large gaps in students’ academic foundation, and a variety of social and emotional issues among students. The principal goal of the grant is to generate new and usable knowledge about what it takes to turn around chronically underperforming schools.

Central Asia Program fellows

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION RENEWS ITS SUPPORT OF CENTRAL ASIA & AZERBAIJAN POLICY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM Recognizing the success of the Central Asia & Azerbaijan Policy Fellowship at the Elliott School of International Affairs’ Central Asia Program (CAP), the Open Society Foundation (OSF) awarded a grant of $600,197 to the fellowship program in December. The funds support a program for young professionals from Central Asian countries—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan— which have a chronic and acute lack of public policy experts and analysts. “This program is training a new generation of Central Asian experts in policy matters and giving them a voice in the U.S. policy community working on Central Asia issues,” said Marlene Laruelle, director of the Central Asia Program and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. “By creating a new generation of local experts with a worldwide level of policy analysis, this program is helping these countries better shape their new policy environments.” OSF support has allowed CAP to continue this unique fellowship, supporting eight fellows per year, consolidating partnerships with national foundations in the republics, helping to develop Central Asia-based projects such as summer schools, and strengthening and expanding the Central Asian Analytical Network and other alumni activities.


“I am donating this money to honor my father and mother and to thank (the) George Washington University for the education it provided them,” said former adjunct GW faculty member David Harris about why he donated $200,000 as part of the GW Legacy Challenge. Harris’ father, D. Lee Harris, received a master’s degree in mathematics from GW in 1951, and his mother, Mary Belle Harris, received a master’s degree in education from GW in 1964. Both would have celebrated their 100th birthdays in 2016. Harris noted that “graduate education prepared them to later earn additional graduate degrees and to be more successful in their careers. Their success allowed my parents to send me to college and motivated me to get a good education.” Please see p. 16 for more on the GW Legacy Challenge.



George Washington University students and community members wrote more than 1,400 thank you cards on the third annual GW Flag Day, showing alumni donors their appreciation for those who give back to the university and help support the GW experience. Activities throughout the day educated GW students, faculty, and staff about Making History: The Campaign for GW and how philanthropy impacts life at the university. In addition to writing thank yous, GW students took photos in a photo booth, got Commander-in-Chief flag buttons, and participated in “Philanthroquest,� a scavenger hunt activity that helped them learn about famous GW philanthropic landmarks.


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Nobody Does It Better Donor makes $8 million gift to expand GW’s Clark Scholars Program and support more students by Mary Follin

Each year, the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) welcomes a new cohort of Clark Engineering Scholars, many of whom have known from early on they were going to be engineers. The Clark Engineering Scholars Program rewards SEAS students with financial assistance, professional development, and leadership and networking opportunities. With a recent gift of $8 million by the Clark Charitable Foundation, the program will support more students each year. “Our Clark Scholars benefit not just from financial support for their studies, but from internships, study abroad, leadership training, and mentorship by distinguished engineering alumni,” says SEAS Dean David Dolling. “They also benefit from the steady hand of the program’s director, Professor Murray Snyder, a retired U.S. Navy nuclear submarine captain who models leadership for them. We’re extremely grateful to the Clark Charitable Foundation for expanding the program that Mr. Clark established to help us forge engineering leaders.” The Clark Scholars Program was made possible in 2011 by an $8 million gift from the late A. James Clark, HON ’10, a GW trustee emeritus and Clark Enterprises founder whose contributions to the university included the construction of landmark facilities on the Foggy Bottom Campus, volunteer leadership, and philanthropic support. The following profiles highlight a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and alumnus from this esteemed program.

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Samantha Brick, ’20 Civil and Environmental Engineering SAM BRICK KNEW FROM THE TIME SHE WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL that she wanted a STEM career. No surprise: As a native of Seattle, Washington, “pretty much everyone she knew” worked at Microsoft. “I picked GW because I wanted a school where I could have experiences outside of engineering, and I thought D.C. was a good place to do that,” says Sam. “I also came here because there are people studying all sorts of things ... I wanted that interdisciplinary environment.” Currently a freshman in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sam has found GW to have no shortage of fascinating people to meet—and things to do. “The

Alexander Snouffer, ’19 Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering LONG BEFORE ENTERING COLLEGE, ALEX SNOUFFER knew he wanted to be a mechanical engineer. With a fascination for vintage metalworking machinery and mechanical antique watches—and four years at a STEM high school in Hagerstown, Maryland—he was well prepared to enter GW as a mechanical engineering student. Now a sophomore, Alex recalls the first time he visited the GW campus. “Something just hit me,” he says. “I fell in love with the school, I fell in love with the surrounding area, and I love living here in D.C. It’s a great area with a great vibe, and I particularly like the feel of the engineering school.” When a professor encouraged incoming freshmen to apply for the Clark Engineering Scholars Program, Alex didn’t hesitate. “The Clark scholarship is great because it prepares you for the real world,” he says. “I’ve gotten to attend lectures where alumni tell us about the profession and give us tips for entering the job force. Plus, we get to interact with the Clark Scholars in other classes.” Currently employed by the machine shop in the Science and Engineering Hall, Alex enjoys making parts requested by professors and helping students manufacture their own designs. “It’s really interesting when a manufacturing class comes down [to the shop],” he says. “When you have 20 students at the same time, you really need to know what you’re doing. It’s a fun challenge.” Alex is also a member of the GW Robotics Team, where he is participating in a competition to make the most efficient firefighting robot. “The robot has to circumnavigate a maze to save

professors are interesting, the older students are interesting, I go to the lab, I go to my job, I take classes in women’s studies and psychology,” she says with enthusiasm. “I also just started working on a steel bridge team. First, we assemble the parts here, then, at the competition, we get to assemble it again. How fast you build it, how much weight it holds, and aesthetics are all taken into account to determine the winner.” Sam was one of the lucky few chosen for the Clark Engineering Scholars Program through her high school recommendation process. “I didn’t hear about the scholarship until after I was accepted,” she says, describing the scholarship as being a significant part of her GW experience. “Within the engineering school, a lot of initiatives focus on leadership, but the Clark Scholars Program takes it one step further.” Sam is also excited to pay it forward: “I’m definitely looking ahead to moving through the program and being an older student to new students coming in, just as the juniors and seniors were to me. I can’t wait to tell them about my experiences and being on the flip side of that interaction.” Given the opportunity to speak directly to the Clark family, Sam would love to tell them that their contribution has had a significant impact on her. “I don’t know if I would be able to come here without the financial support,” she says. “All of the networking is helpful, too, so I would like to say ‘thank you so much!’” MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW


a baby from a fire,” he says. “It even needs to put out candles that simulate the fire.” According to Alex, these opportunities might not have been available to him if it weren’t for the Clark Engineering Scholars Program. “I applied early decision to GW,” he says, “but the financials didn’t 100 percent work out. My parents and I decided I would come, and at the end of my first year we would reevaluate whether or not I would be able to stay. But after getting the Clark scholarship, the financial burden was greatly eased for both me and my family.” Alex expresses sincere gratitude to the Clark Charitable Foundation: “I would like to say ‘thank you very much.’ The scholarship is greatly appreciated, both in its generosity to the students and its support for GW engineering.”

Tania Singh, ’18 Biomedical Engineering AS A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL, TANIA SINGH was pretty sure GW offered exactly what she was looking for in a college experience. She also found out she had been awarded a Clark scholarship, which ultimately sealed the deal. “It sounded like a great opportunity,” she says, pointing to Admitted Students Day, when she met with one of the biomedical engineering professors who told her what it meant to be a Clark Scholar at GW. “They were investing a lot in the engineering program, building a new building, spending money on research—and the Clark scholarship was something unique GW could offer me that other schools couldn’t.”

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Now a junior, Tania is pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in biophysics. She plans to continue her education following graduation and earn an MD/PhD. For the past two years, she has concentrated her research on the effects of ultrasound on pancreatic beta cells. “I’ve been working with Professor Zderic in the Therapeutic Ultrasound Lab, running experiments,” she says. “The research I’m doing is mostly diabetes specific, but I’m also working on the simulation of thermal mechanical effects of ultrasound on the abdomen, which has a broader applicability.” Tania began experiencing the benefits of being a Clark Scholar even before her first day in school. “We have a boot camp at the beginning of the semester, so freshman year, I was on campus a week before everybody else. It was kind of intimidating—nobody was here, you move into your dorm, and you’re by yourself. But I actually ended up meeting some of my best friends to this day when I first went to that boot camp.” Tania effusively describes her gratitude for having been chosen as a Clark Scholar: “I would definitely say ‘thank you.’ It’s been an incredible opportunity I wouldn’t have had without the support they have given me. Even some of the research I’m doing is because of the Clark Scholars Program requirements. It’s been incredible.”

Abbie Gillen, ’17 Engineering Management and Systems Engineering ABBIE GILLEN WAS INITIALLY ATTRACTED TO GW because of the “cool energy” and sense of community she felt when she first stepped onto campus as a high school junior from Johns Creek, Georgia. During her freshman year at GW, one of the engineering professors encouraged the incoming class to apply for the Clark Engineering Scholars Program, and she thought—“why not give it a try?” Four years later, she can emphatically say she is glad she did. “The Clark Engineering Scholars Program has been a great opportunity for me,” says Abbie, who is pursuing a degree in systems engineering with a double minor in computer science and biology. “I have been able to connect with GW alumni and previous scholars, and I’ve definitely gotten exposure to events and topics I never would have experienced otherwise.” One such event was the SEAS Hall of Fame dinner, which Abbie attended as a sophomore. A night to honor exceptional SEAS alumni, the celebration left a lasting impression. “I got to meet people who were 10, 20, 30 years down the line and see how their time at GW brought them success in their careers,” she says. “I also got to hear about the cool changes they were making in the world. I had a good time at that dinner, and I learned a lot about what my future might hold.” Abbie, who is graduating this spring, has recently secured a position as a systems engineer in the Washington, D.C., area. She attributes her experience as a Clark Scholar as pivotal in helping her find employment so quickly. “The Clark Scholars Program emphasized professional skills, how to network, how to talk to people, and how to go to interviews prepared,” she says.

tern for Clark Construction, working on District House, GW’s newest residence hall. “By the time I walked in the first day as a full-time employee, I could already do a lot for my project manager.” Ian attributes a lot of his confidence—in school and on the job—to the Clark Engineering Scholars Program. “The program was full of students with a lot of potential. We had great conversations and many aspirations, which gave me a good world sense.” The program also builds worldliness by requiring students to study abroad. Ian went to Istanbul, where he learned basic Turkish and worked with the best engineers in the country. “It was really intense—I didn’t expect it, but academically it really pushed me,” he says. “I felt like I became a much stronger engineer and person because of it.” Ian has tremendous gratitude for being selected as a Clark Scholar. “I would like to say ‘thank you so much!’” he says. “This scholarship has meant so much for my family, and it really helped me believe in myself. I was intimidated when I came to GW. Everything in Hawaii is much slower, and I didn’t know if I could keep up. Being selected for this program showed me I could succeed. Because of that, I got to intern with a Hear more from Sam, Alex, great construction company, and I’m Tania, Abbie, and Ian at working there today. I’m so ful—it’s been awesome!”  GW


“What I learned in the program enhanced what I learned in my coursework and prepared me to do the face-to-face interview, a skill that led me to successfully getting a job.” Abbie sends a heartfelt thank-you to the scholarship committee and the Clark family. “I didn’t know how awesome the Clark Scholars Program was going to be when I first joined,” she says, “but I’m definitely grateful to be part of it. Not only did the program help make my time at GW better, I feel it was a launch pad for my job and whatever will happen in the future. The experience was an invaluable part of being at GW.”

Ian Wong, BS ’16 Civil and Environmental Engineering HAVING GROWN UP IN HONOLULU, HAWAII, the farthest east Ian Wong had ever been was Arizona. When he got accepted to GW, he told his parents it was the perfect opportunity for him to see what the rest of America was like. “I spent my entire life on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,” says Ian. “So I decided to take a leap and come to the East Coast.” Ian recalls his first orientation class where he learned about the Clark Engineering Scholars Program—he decided to go for it. “By some miracle, I got brought back for an interview,” he says. “I was nervous. I basically talked about what I wanted to do in life. When they chose me, I was shocked.” Upon graduating with a degree in civil and environmental engineering, Ian landed a position with Clark Construction in the Washington, D.C., area. Prior to that, he worked for a year as an inMAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW


I AM ADVANCING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY Support students like Erjon by making your annual gift today. - Erjon Baballari, GWSB ’18

RESEARCH THE NEW MAYBERG CENTER our first collaboration with the for Jewish Education and Schusterman Foundation (a Leadership—made possible by leadership and service organizaa generous gift from the Maytion for Jewish youth), helping to berg Family Foundation—links prepare a group of international academic scholarship with the nonprofit leaders through an work of Jewish organizations online, 10-part course called on GW’s campus, throughout “Jewish Values at Work.” Washington, D.C., and nationPresident Steven wide. The center is housed in What new courses are Knapp (right) with the Maybergs at the the Graduate School of Educabeing designed and taught official launch of tion and Human Development through the center? Curthe center (GSEHD), and will provide rently, I am teaching a required graduate professional developcourse in GSEHD’s curriculum ment, workshops, and public and pedagogy program, while programs in Jewish education we develop a new master’s prowith a focus on pedagogy and gram that we hope to launch in leadership training. fall 2018. I will also be teaching Center Director Erica Brown an introduction to Judaism for designs and teaches courses in undergraduates next semesThe new Mayberg Center for Jewish Education education and Jewish studies. ter, through the GW religion and Leadership connects academics and the She is also building a research department. I hope it will help work of Jewish organizations agenda and connecting Jewish acquaint me with the kind of education to GSEHD’s broader students we will be recruiting interests in multicultural, religious, and for a graduate program once we are formally ready to launch. pluralist education. Author of 11 books, Brown holds Can you discuss recent Mayberg events? On March 15, advanced degrees in ­education and we held the Mayberg Center launch with a one-day conference: Jewish studies and has held leadership “Re-imagining Jewish Leadership Education.” We brought togethpositions in many Jewish nonprofit er a group of academics, practitioners, and conveners. This was organizations. She shares some insights followed, in the evening, by a dinner to honor the Mayberg family Erica into her goals for the center and current and to host a conversation between Leon Wieseltier of the BrookBrown partnerships and research initiatives. ings Institution and David Brooks, the New York Times columnist that I moderated on “Education, Integrity and Leadership.” What is the center’s mission? The Mayberg Center has a multifaceted mission. Its most important contribution will be in What is your overall goal for a successful first year with the academic training of Jewish educators on a graduate level, the center? In addition to teaching, researching, and writing, preparing them for careers in day schools and allowing them to I have been on a listening tour, trying to get to know colleagues take advantage of the wealth of resources at GSEHD and through and the educational landscape within GSEHD. I have also been programs such as the Master’s degree in Experiential Education meeting faculty in related departments where there may be a and the Jewish Cultural Arts. future for collaboration, and I’ve been getting to know students The center will also partner with Jewish nonprofits in the ongoand understand more about their concerns. I have received a very ing education of its professionals, and will provide Jewish leadergracious welcome here, and am very grateful for this remarkable ship and literacy certificates. The center will also create a platform opportunity. I am, above all, appreciative to Louis and Manette for academics and nonprofit leaders to be in conversation about Mayberg for their immense and ongoing support and to Dean issues that matter for the Jewish future. We like to think of it as a Michael Feuer, Rob Eisen, chair of the religion department, and bridge between the academy and the community. Yoni Kaiser-Blueth, the executive director of To learn more about the Mayberg Center In what ways will the center connect the academics to the GW Hillel, for helping and ways to support its mission, call or email work of local and campus Jewish organizations? to make this personal Kevin Cannady, director of development, at I taught a leadership class for GW Hillel, and we have already started dream a reality.  GW 202-994-7729 or





Join the

GW Legacy Challenge If you document a gift in your will or other planned gift to the George Washington University, then you can immediately direct Legacy Challenge matching funds to a cause you care about at GW, such as scholarships, a school or department, or a favorite extracurricular program.* For every $10 of your pledged planned gift, $1 of matching funds (with a cap of $10,000) will be directed to the GW purpose you select.

“Sooner or later, everyone really should sit down and make out a will. And that gets you thinking about whether you have done anything, or still have time to do anything, that will make the world a better place.” — Marie Sansone, BA ‘78

* GW thanks the generous group of GW alumni and friends who have donated matching funds for the GW Legacy Challenge. To learn how your gift can make an immediate impact visit CALL: 877-498-7590 EMAIL: 16 Impact | SPRING 2017


WILLIAM “BILL” OAKLEY, MS ’71 by Craig Burdick TO HEAR WILLIAM “BILL” OAKLEY, MS ’71, tell it, his time at GW helped put rugs under his feet and a roof over his head— so he’s giving back and then some. “I hope to give bright, eager young people the opportunity to get a good and meaningful education,” says Bill. “I want to prepare them for a better life and to achieve the American dream.” In 1986, Bill established a charitable remainder trust (CRT) that will help finance three endowed funds at the George Washington University: The William B. Oakley Scholarship in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the William B. Oakley Endowed Business Scholarship, and the William B. Oakley Professorial Fellowship Fund — the latter two in the School of Business. “Endowments provide a continuing flow of funds for scholarships, as opposed to seeing it expended over a short period of time,” explains Bill, a Heritage Society and George Washington Society member. “These endowments will benefit more people over the long haul.” Bill spent the first 20 years of his career in the U.S. Army working in the communications systems field. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1968 and took night classes to earn a master’s degree in administration with a concentration in information technology from GW’s School of Business and Public Management. Because of his GW degree and communications background, Bill spent the final 11 years of his Army career working on a Worldwide Intercomputer Network (“I don’t know what ever happened to that program,” Bill chuckles) before becoming a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. “The GW education gave me the credentials, when tied with my other experience, for a full and satisfying career with a good salary,” says Bill. The Army veteran is still impressed with the effect GW has on its students because of its location in the nation’s capital and its emphasis on international relations. “The role of America in the world is extremely important and developing a broad understanding of what goes on outside of your immediate area is of ultimate importance,” says Bill. “GW students not only get involved and see the governmental structure of the U.S.; they also get a feel for international activities by interacting with the broad If you’d like to follow in Bill Oakley’s spectrum of foreign students.” footsteps by giving back to GW, An avid traveler, Bill spent time living in please contact the Office of Planned the Middle East and purchased a number of Giving at 877-498-7590 or rugs from pilgrims making the Hajj to Mecca. To learn more Bill recently donated three of his rugs to the about making a planned gift while George Washington University Museum and also seeing your gift have an imThe Textile Museum for use in their educational mediate impact through our Legacy programs. He also intends to give his home to Challenge match, visit the university when he no longer needs it.  GW GWLegacyChallenge.




FOR GW PARENT PAULA RIORDAN, Paula says the FPB has it’s all about giving back. allowed her to become part of Since her children, Meagan, BS a community where she can ’14, and John, BS ’15, were in grade direct GW families’ feedback school, Paula and her husband, to the university. One of her Dan, have been committed to first tasks after joining the FPB philanthropy, donating their time was liaising with administrators and raising funds for groups and to bring more dining options causes they care about. to campus. So when Meagan decided to “A lot of the feedback we attend GW, the Riordans realized received was about how they could start making a difference food options were lacking for close to home. students,” she explains, “but “Shortly after GW accepted within a single calendar year, by Sophie Ota, SMPA ’18 Meagan, I remember attending we were able to change that. an event with other parents and Awareness was made, and it President Knapp,” Paula recounts. was addressed.” “We realized that we were good candidates for making a difference The Riordans were living in Nevada when Meagan and John at the school.” began applying to colleges. Many of their classmates were looking From that point on, Paula and Dan became “highly involved” in at schools on the West Coast. But the family knew that—while farther the GW community. away from home—GW was the educational experience they were “First and foremost, we believe in philanthropy and setting an looking for. example for our kids. Actions speak louder than words, and our kids “There are a lot of great schools out there. But I always say that do a great job of giving back,” Paula says. She points to Meagan’s GW provides a 360-degree education,” Paula says. “GW is all about work with For the Love of Children, a nonprofit, D.C.-based tutoring including everybody and pushing students to problem solve in organization for which Meagan has volunteered since 2013. every direction. These professors teach students the whole picture.” “[Meagan] is gifted in math and began tutoring when she was She says the university’s focus on professional development, in fourth grade. When she came to GW, she found a way to keep internships, and diverse student activities helped her kids enter doing that. She’s now earning her master’s in finance from GW, and the workforce “feeling capable and qualified.” Currently, John is is still involved with the same organization.” an aerospace engineer at Williams International. Meagan is an In 2009, Paula and Dan joined the Family Philanthropy Board associate at Morgan Stanley, and will complete her master’s in (FPB), which has allowed them, along with undergradfinance from the School of Business this summer. uate students and other parents, to work with adminThough Paula and Dan now reside in Florida, To get involved as a parent istrators to improve campus life. Paula has been a key Paula says she “still gets chills” thinking about the volunteer, please contact player in several initiatives, from raising awareness experiences the nation’s capital has to offer. GW Family Philanthropy at and funds for student programs to advocating for the “Only at GW do you get to see your children or 202-994-3229. expansion of Disability Support Services. become part of history,” she says. GW

The Riordan family takes pride in supporting the GW community through family philanthropy



RAISE high

FIVE Each year, members of the GW community support the programs, funds, and initiatives that help our students reach their full potential and make the George Washington University one of the finest universities in the country. Here are five of our favorites that you might not know about yet

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“This is experiential learning at its best. The ability to imagine a solution to a problem and take that idea to market is true innovation.” — Lex McCusker, director, GW New Venture Competition

Office of Entrepreneurship

Founded in 2010, the GW Office of Entrepreneurship provides cross-disciplinary programming around innovation, education, venture creation, and making connections to support GW entrepreneurs and the Mid-Atlantic startup community. The office leverages the unique strengths of the university’s location in the nation’s capital to serve society at large through the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship. Philanthropic support enables GW to scale existing events and create new initiatives that offer aspiring entrepreneurs opportunities to turn their ideas into actual business ventures.

From left: Indrajeet “Jeet” Viswanathan, MS ’12; Pascale Dumit, BS ’03, MS ’05, Cert. ’05; Sana Al-Hajj, MS ’92, DSc ’05

Engineering Alumni Scholarship Fund The Engineering Alumni Scholarship Fund—started by the Engineer Alumni Association in 1991—provides partial scholarships to students based on academic standing, leadership in the school, and financial need. As the emphasis on the importance of STEM and STEAM education grows in the United States, this fund is ever more important as a funding vehicle to prepare and train more engineers. Gifts to this endowment will help generate additional funds in perpetuity to even more deserving students each year.

“This fund is a perfect example of how the SEAS community of alumni and supporters come together to pave a bright future for our students. Tuition support for deserving students is critically important in training and preparing science and engineering leaders to address our world’s toughest challenges.” — Sana Al-Hajj, MS ’92, DSc ’05

æ Interested in learning more or supporting one of these programs? Contact us at today. Andres Leon, ESIA ’17

Internship Award Opens Doors for Students

The right internship—which may not offer compensation—can maximize career options. Since 2012, thanks to a fund established by generous alumni and friends, nearly 20 students in the Elliott School of International Affairs’ International Trade and Investment Policy (ITIP) program have been able to hold unpaid internships and still cover the rent. The ITIP Internship Award Fund offers competitive grants to high-performing students. The award has also strengthened bonds among ITIP alumni and students, who recently gathered to celebrate five years of success. A gift to the ITIP Internship Award Fund goes directly to the students who receive these important grants.

“The ITIP Award enabled me to intern at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where I had the opportunity to apply the knowledge and technical skills I developed at the Elliott School to real-world scenarios. The internship also gave me a clearer sense of my career path and opened doors with prospective employers.” — Andres Leon, ESIA ’17

“What I think that’s so great about Alternative Breaks is that it brings together people from all corners of campus and all backgrounds. It’s a diverse group of people you wouldn’t have met otherwise, and they truly become your best friends.” —Anna Hedlund, ESIA ’17

Alternative Breaks The GW Alternative Breaks program is a nonprofit organization housed under GW’s Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. The program offers community service trips annually to domestic and international locations. Students participate in a range of service areas from sustainability to education to community development. Recent trips have taken students to Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, a food bank in New York, and a coffee farm in Costa Rica. Gifts help defray the cost of travel, lodging, meals, cultural/educational activities, and service costs during these service trips. They also provide scholarships to make this program financially accessible to all students.

“Thanks to the O’Dwyer family financially investing in my education, I am now able to manage my student loans and get ahead financially. There’s no doubt that I would not have the necessary tools needed to commit to my goals as a public servant without this support.” — Amanda Hamilton, MPS ’16, program analyst with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

O’Dwyer Fund Relieves Student Debt

Funded by Graduate public sector rather School of Political than feeling pressured Management (GSPM) to take higher-paying board member Brian J. jobs in other fields. O’Dwyer, BA ‘66, LLM Gifts to the O’Dwyer ‘76, and his wife, Marianna, BA ‘67, MA Fund increase the number of “forgivable” ‘70, the O’Dwyer Fund for Student Loan loans to recent GSPM graduates who carry Forgiveness encourages GSPM graduates significant loan debt and who are employed to take jobs in the public sector by helping in the public sector. These loans are used to to pay some of their student loan debt. By pay down the graduate’s private or federally supporting this fund, the O’Dwyers hoped subsidized student loans that were used for that graduates would pursue careers in the undergraduate or GSPM studies. MAKING HISTORY: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GW



Marcus Mitchell, SMHS ’17 Marcus Mitchell, a D.C. native and fourth-year medical student, initially planned on pursuing emergency medicine, but eventually discovered his passion for anesthesiology. As he explains it, anesthesiology is a procedural and hands-on discipline, with moments of intensity. “I like that even though your interaction with your patients—their conscious awareness—is brief, it’s really powerful, especially during the preop encounter,” he says. Using those interpersonal and professional skills to serve others is important to him. “I want to be involved with and serve an underserved community,” he says, highlighting recent medical mission trips to Haiti and Ecuador. “That’s really important to me—that I have diverse patients who come from all over and have various socioeconomic statuses.” Marcus plans to continue giving back at home. When he first entered the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, he was awarded a GW Power & Promise scholarship, designed to alleviate the financial burdens for GW’s best and brightest. It has helped relieve his student debt—and inspired him. “It actually encourages me to give back as an alumnus,” he says. “I definitely want to have my own scholarship fund so I can give back and help some [unsuspecting] student who’s doing a good job.” —Caroline Trent-Gurbuz

20 Impact | SPRING 2017

Juan Mejia wants to use his degree at the Graduate School of Political Management to bring respect and professionalism to politics in his native Guatemala. “As a new generation of Latin American political consultants, we can demonstrate how to conduct research, interpret public opinion, lobby, implement public policy, organize, and communicate with people in creative, professional, and innovative ways,” he says. Juan’s dream is within reach—the Larry Lane Scholarship provided him with the necessary funding to take a semester of classes required for international students. “During that semester I was able to learn about tactical grassroots techniques, analyze political data, and understand how to organize people in the field,” he says. “I took an entire class on digital strategy and new trends to organize people with different digital platforms.” Juan has also used D.C. as an extended classroom: “This stimulating city brings together all the intellectual and political figures every day,” he says. “Only in Washington, D.C., am I able to interact with [former presidents], senators, political consultants, lobbyists, researchers, advertisers, digital directors, pollsters, and many other professionals who have provided me with the opportunity to learn from their experiences.” —Amanda Charney

Mariana Surillo Gonzalez, GWSPH ‘18 For as long as she can remember, Mariana Surillo Gonzalez has loved nature. “I’m from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and so I was always exposed to the mountains and the oceans,” she says. “I appreciate that I was able to grow up in that environment.” After participating in a Greenpeace program as a senior in high school, Mariana’s career goals became clear. “I realized I wanted to dedicate my professional career to the environment,” says Mariana, who graduated from Saint Joseph’s University last spring with bachelor’s degrees in environmental science and economics. “I also knew I loved working with people and wanted to help others.” Supported by a scholarship from an anonymous donor, Mariana has been able to pursue her passions with the Milken Institute School of Public Health’s global environmental health program. “I’m interested in global health development, with a focus on environmental issues, like climate change in less-developed countries,” she says. “So when I learned about this program, I got extremely excited. It incorporates everything I want to do.” She says her scholarship improves her student experience every day. “I didn’t have to take two part-time jobs,” she explains. “I’m able to focus on my school work, explore the city, and have an internship.” Mariana is a fellow at MBD, Inc., an environmental consulting firm that counts the EPA as one of its clients. At MBD, she regularly uses skills picked up in the classroom. “Every class always has something you can apply to your everyday experiences,” she says. “Lessons from my environmental and occupational health class, for example, I’ve been able to apply to several different projects already.” After graduation, Mariana hopes to work abroad, where she could complete international research and gain experience in the field. For now, though, she’s excited about being in the nation’s capital. “Every day is an only-at-GW moment for me,” she says. — Sophie Ota, SMPA ’18

Moshe Pasternak, CCAS ’17 Bolstering his political science degree with a range of on- and off-campus internship experience, Moshe (Mo) Pasternak has made the most of the opportunities afforded to him by a GW Power & Promise scholarship. As a freshman, he took a Dean’s Seminar on political manipulation, and further classes enhanced his understanding of the mechanisms behind the headlines. Broader communications courses provided lessons he’s carried from Capitol Hill to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he worked for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Sociology classes changed the way he saw the world and sparked a passion for community service. “Being able to pursue my passions and learn at such a wonderful school is not something I take for granted,” the Livingston, New Jersey, native says. “This scholarship has allowed me to learn and

Sandra Lindberg, SON ’17

grow as a person.” Remarkably, a class on youth sports afforded Mo the opportunity to interview a three-star general on the influence sports has on our lives. Mo also considers it an honor to be a part of the Colonial community. “A good education is one thing, but a support network is invaluable.” After graduation, Mo hopes to continue advocating for a more equitable health care system in America, as he did working one semester with the Alliance for Retired Americans. He knows that when he graduates, he will leave Foggy Bottom with “much more than a diploma.” “I am confident [GW] will lead me down a road that would have been closed, and for that I am eternally grateful,” Mo says. “The real thank you can be seen in everything I do and will continue to do after I leave GW.” — Sophie Ota, SMPA ‘18

Demetria Clark, GSEHD ’17

After 25 years in a rewarding nursing career, Sandra (Sandie) Lindberg enrolled in the School of Nursing’s online RN-BSN program. Due to tightening standards in the health care industry, Sandie recognized the necessity of returning to post-secondary education in order to increase the opportunity for advancement in her field. Because of the generosity of the James M. Johnston Trust scholarship, she has been able to take time out from her career to focus on her studies. “Before I was gifted with the scholarship, I was facing the inability to finance my education,” says Sandie. “I was also awarded a Pell Grant, so by the grace of these two contributions, my first and second terms were covered. I was thrilled that somebody thought I deserved this chance. The generosity of the James M. Johnston Trust for Charitable Education was beyond my imagination and gratitude.” As a veteran of primarily acute-care hospital nursing, Sandie is interested in returning to direct patient care with more of a management or leadership role. “The jury is still out on the locale or type of institution, because there are a wide range of options to choose from,” she says. “When I move closer to graduation, I’m positive the right opportunity will evolve.” —Mary Follin

A special education teacher for D.C. Public Schools, Demetria Clark is improving the lives of young people every day. “My work centers on children in kindergarten through second grade who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” she says, “and I can already see the impact I’m having on my students.” After completing her undergraduate degree at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Demetria chose to continue her education at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD), where she could focus her research on early childhood education. Thanks to support from the Mary Hatwood Futrell Scholarship, Demetria is excelling at GSEHD. She says that her GW education has taught her to “better educate at-risk youth in the nation’s capital and enhance the lives of students who cannot advocate for themselves.” Since enrolling in GSEHD, Demetria has felt supported by professors like Jennifer Frey, an early childhood special education expert who “cares deeply about the success of her students and connects material from the classroom with the real world.” For Demetria, who plans to work on providing early education intervention for at-risk infants and toddlers after graduation, real-world connections are important. For example, GSEHD’s family engagement course taught her how to “foster trusting relationships with my students’ parents.” So far, Demetria’s work and education have already come together to spell success in the field. “My students’ academic progress, as well as attendance, has been on a steady incline since my enrollment in GW,” she says. — Sophie Ota, SMPA ‘18





AS THE FIRST IN HER FAMILY who will graduate from college, Gaby Madrid, GWSPH ‘17, is forging a new path. But thanks to GW’s First Generation Student Support program, she isn’t walking this road alone. Two programs funded by family The program, philanthropy provide special services offered by the Center and support to students for Student Engagement (CSE), helps By Michele Lynn the 12 to 15 percent of students in each entering class who are the first in their family to attend college to successfully transition to the university and prepare for post-collegiate life. Thanks to a generous gift from parent donors Terry and Steve Godfrey, P ’19, the CSE offerings to first-generation students include an annual lunch for the Founding Scholars transition program for entering

22 Impact | SPRING 2017

first-generation students; monthly dinners; funding for business attire; and the loan of laptops, pots and pans, and other kitchen utensils.  “We feel a strong responsibility to the generation behind us, whether our kids or not, to prepare them to be happy, productive adults,” says Terry. “We are honored to fund these programs. In our minds, programs like Founding Scholars help firstgeneration students build a network on campus early and remind them that they are not alone in their experience.” Gaby agrees. As the founder and president of First Generation to College—a GW student organization that advocates for and builds a community for these students—she is grateful to have a community of peers. “Creating the space for students to share their experiences has been very helpful,” she says. “It has been really rewarding that there are so many people willing to help this organization and that the university is addressing our needs more.” The Godfreys’ gift also supported Gaby the creation of The Store, a studentMadrid run food pantry serving GW students.

“I serve on the school board of a public K-12 school district in an affluent district,” says Terry. “We know that in our 12,000-plus student population, we have students who have real needs that can be overlooked because people just assume all our students are part of Steve and Terry Godfrey (right), with daughter, Brigid, CCAS ‘19, affluent families. We knew and son, Kieran that if there are students with food insecurity here, that there must be some at GW as well.” In fact, 24 percent of GW students will face food insecurity at some point in their undergraduate careers, according to the Division of Student Affairs. When The Store launched last fall, it became one of the more than 400 food pantries on college and university campuses throughout the country. Discretion and privacy were key factors in the creation of the food pantry. Located in an externally unmarked corner of District House, a new dorm, The Store offers easy access to students who only need to fill out a form with their email address and GWorld number. No names or financial disclosures are required. Open and unattended from 6 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a brief afternoon closure for volunteer upkeep, The Store allows students to choose food in private. The Store is managed jointly by CSE and Class Council, a GW student organization. CSE staff oversee the logistics and financial aspects of The Store, while Class Council recruits, trains, and manages volunteers. In addition to these partners, other key collaborators include the Capital Area Food Bank, Whole Foods Market, Hungry Harvest, and Bread for Life. First-year student Saru Duckworth, ESIA ‘20, one of the volunteer managers at The Store, is thrilled to be part of this effort. “In our user feedback, we received thanks from a girl who previously had to choose between buying textbooks and feeding herself,” she says. “GW core values don’t align with that; we all believe that no one should have to choose between education and feeding themselves. The Store is a great resource that allows students to continue their education without having to withdraw from school or struggle because of food insecurity.” Based on student feedback from The Store’s shoppers and general observations, organizers note that students facing food insecurity also struggle with being able to afford basic toiletries, academic materials, and kitchen supplies. The Store plans to add these items to its offerings. “There are so many hurdles to getting an education; food insecurity is one that we, as a caring community, can help the students overcome,” says Steve. “The Store is off to a strong start. We are so impressed by the commitment of GW and the passion of the staff to support their students in this way.” In its first year, The Store projected a need of 12,000 pounds of food a year. But, by October 2016, it was clear the program would need at least three times that amount to meet the needs of a projected 500 students annually. The Store needs help from donors and supporters to provide food and supplies to students in need. To make a gift to The Store, visit  GW

New Leadership at Colonial Health Center The George Washington University has hired a new associate dean for the Colonial Health Center (CHC), concluding a national search process with input from students, faculty, and staff. Glenn Egelman, a health care consultant who has experience delivering and overseeing university health services at five higher education institutions, began his new role on March 29. Egelman oversees the CHC, which includes Medical Services, Mental Health Services, and Health Promotion and Prevention Services. Egelman says it is an honor to apply his knowledge, skills, and experiences as associate dean. “Leading and coordinating this strong, renowned, student-centered program, while providing the personalized attention that the diverse and international GW campus deserves, will allow my strengths to be most beneficial to our vibrant campus community,” he says. “Working with the dedicated and experienced professional staff to further the excellent work of biopsychosocial health care integration energizes me.” Before coming to GW, Egelman helped launch a Washington, D.C.-based firm, where he was a campus health care consultant. In that role, he worked with student affairs professionals and campus health and counseling directors. Since 2008, he has assisted various health centers with human and fiscal resources, accreditation, and care quality.




POWER & PROMISE CELEBRATION HONORS DONORS AND RECIPIENTS THE ANNUAL POWER & PROMISE event celebrates recipients of scholarships and fellowships and the donors who have supported their education, giving both sides of the philanthropic equation a chance to share stories and make personal connections. George Washington President Steven Knapp, who established the Power & Promise initiative to expand scholarships and fellowships in 2009, has always emphasized the centrality of educational access to GW’s mission. “This is consistently one of the most inspiring evenings for me,” said Knapp, who will step down as president at the end of July. “It’s my last opportunity to be here in this role, but I’ll be watching the progress of the Power & Promise campaign over the years.” Knapp thanked attendees not only for the differences they had made in the lives of others, but also for the wider effect their support would have. “Through those you are supporting, you are shaping the future of our nation and our world,” he said. GW Trustee Sally Nuamah, BA ‘11, led a champagne toast to Knapp, thanking him for “keeping students first, middle, and last in everything you do.” Current students Demetria Clark, GSEHD ‘17, and Moshe Pasternak, CCAS ‘17, also shared their stories with the audience (read more about them on p. 21).  GW

24 Impact | SPRING 2017

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