Loyno Magazine Fall 2020

Page 32

The 2020

Ignatian Awards The highest honor the university bestows on its students, the Ignatian Award, recognizes a graduating senior and a graduate student who have distinguished themselves by contributing their gifts generously to the Loyola community, sharing their faith with others, excelling in their scholarly pursuits, providing service for and with others, and living Jesuit values in an extraordinary manner. The 2020 Ignatian Award recipients are political science graduate Rana Thabata and master's in counseling graduate Sarah Zogbhi.

Rana Thabata ’20 (political science) A native of Gretna, Louisiana, Rana Thabata ’20 followed her older sister, Rula Thabata ’19, to Loyola, enrolling as a political science major in the College of Arts and Sciences. "I really loved being challenged in so many of my classes but especially constitutional law with Dr. Philip Dynia and political theory classes with Dr. Roger White," said Thabata. "Also, my independent study on the economics of education with Dr. Leo Krasnozhon was absolutely eye-opening. It taught me how to think critically using data and showed how data can inform policy." Though a stellar student, Thabata's presence at Loyola extended far beyond the classroom. She was an Ignacio Volunteer, serving in the NOLA Urban Immersion program as a freshman and later as a team leader. As a sophomore, Thabata was president of the Multicultural Leadership Council, a krewe leader for new student orientation, and a senator for the Student Government Association (SGA). She was involved with the SGA's University Programming Board for several years and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society in her junior year. During her final year at Loyola, Thabata was vice president of the Muslim Student Association and vice president of the


loyno | FALL 2020

Women in Politics student organization. She also served as the diversity officer on the university's presidential search stakeholder committee. Thabata worked at the Student Success Center as a supplemental instructor for constitutional law and as a tutor for political science and economics courses. She also worked at Loyola's Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications as their inaugural diversity officer. In this role, she implemented weekly diversity programming to foster a more equitable environment for both the students working at the Donnelley Center and the center's nonprofit clients. As a Loyola alumna, Thabata's success continues. She received a Fulbright Scholarship and has enrolled in the policy studies in education master's program at the University College London. She plans to attend law school and envisions a career using data and policy to advocate for equitable access to education. "Rana epitomizes my favorite Ignatian value, which is being a person who lives with and for others," said Patricia Boyett, director of Loyola's Women's Resource Center. "She is an incredibly brilliant and talented woman who does such amazing work, and yet she is always so unassuming about it."

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