As the year ends, I look back with pleasure on highlights of the last twelve months. A major highlight of this year for me has been the recognition of so many of our students for their outstanding academic and professional achievements. Several LS students and recent graduates received competitive scholarships and awards in 2015, illustrating the talents of our students and their commitment to seeking opportunities for growth.

Below is a selection of these honors:

NYU Leadership Fellowship: University-wide, year-long program that builds capacity in undergraduates for working ethically, inclusively, and collaboratively with others on a common purpose. The 2015-16 fellows number 23 in total, with three from LS:

Lousia Bahet (Core/CAS ’17)
Shiri Hanau (GLS ’18)
RJ Khalaf (GLS ’18)

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, this grant supports American students studying or interning abroad.

Abida Ali (GLS ’17) – Awarded scholarship for junior year in Madrid.

Rosalyn DeMesa (GLS ’17) – Awarded scholarship for junior year in Shanghai.

Critical Language Scholarship: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, this award funds intensive overseas language and cultural immersion for American students studying underrepresented languages.

Ariela Garvett (GLS ’15) – Received award to study Arabic in Tunisia.

Costanza Maio (GLS ’15) – Received award to study Arabic in Jordan; also a 2014 recipient.

Fulbright Program: Sponsored by the U.S. government, this program provides grants for study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs in a host country outside the U.S.

Eli Freedman (GLS ’15) – Received Fulbright-Hays Program grant to study Chinese language at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China.

Nicholas Grassi (GLS ’12) – Former international trade consultant; received grant to study international business and diplomacy through Deloitte while earning MBA credits in Mexico.

Christina Jang (GLS ’13) – Former program manager; received grant to mentor Fulbright English Teaching Assistants in Brazil following completion of her own English Teaching Assistantship in the same community.

Soros Fellowship: Supports immigrants or the children of immigrants in their graduate study at any university in the U.S.

Eugene Rusyn (Core/CAS ’13) – Born in Kiev, in the former Soviet Union, and currently a JD candidate at Yale Law School; received fellowship to support work towards JD in law.

Join me in congratulating these deserving scholars! I wish you a restful winter break and a happy new year.

“We learned how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.” – Catalina Escalona, Valedictorian, GLS Class of 2015

As you, the 2015 graduates of Global Liberal Studies, begin your first jobs, enroll in graduate school, and become NYU alumni instead of NYU students, I encourage you to remember all that you celebrated during this week of graduation.

In Global Liberal Studies, not only have you sharpened your problem-solving skills, built a strong foundation in world cultures, and pursued double majors, internships, and foreign language proficiency — you also have developed the rare ability to thrive amidst uncertainty.

You proved this as first-year students, enrolling in GLS during the program’s infancy. You proved it again when you dispersed throughout NYU’s global network for your junior year abroad, facing situations that challenged your foreign language skills, sense of boundaries, and understanding of your place in the world. With your senior theses, you proved it once again by pioneering original research on topics that you identified as most compelling.

Hold tight to your sense of adventure, your passion for charting new territory, and your confidence in doing so as you take the next steps toward your future. In our rapidly changing world, you can expect the unexpected — and as a GLS graduate, know that you are ready to meet it head on.