NU-Q Announces 2020 Senior Awards

April 28, 2020

Each year, NU-Q recognizes graduating seniors for academic excellence and leadership skills. The awards are made by the dean, academic programs, and student affairs.

This year, the winners are:

  • Dean’s Award – Sarah Shaath
  • Communication Program – Maha Essid
  • Liberal Arts Program - Ayza Sheikh
  • Journalism and Strategic Communication Program – Malak Al Manaa
  • Student Leadership – Hemyan Al-Hardan

Presenting the Dean’s Award online, NU-Q Dean Craig LaMay described Shaath’s many contributions to NU-Q, including serving as president of the student union (NUQSU), captain of the Women’s Basketball team, and managing editor for The Daily Q.

“I have always been impressed by Sarah’s poised and calm, directed leadership style,” he said. “I’m sure she’ll be successful in whatever she does, and I’m sure as well I’ll be able to look at her and say I knew that young woman when.”

The faculty’s choice for the Liberal Arts award was announced by the program’s director, Professor Kathleen Hewett-Smith. In describing Sheikh, a communications major, Hewett-Smith noted her commitment to her academic studies as well as her work outside of the classroom.

“Ayza is an exemplary student. In addition to earning a high GPA, she is creative, bold, intellectually curious, and an excellent critical thinker and writer. She has also excelled outside the classroom in digital media design for Qatar Museums, social media editor for The Daily Q; producer and art director for Studio 20Q; and peer tutor at the NU-Q Writing Center.

Al Manaa received her award from Mary Dedinsky, professor and director of the Journalism and Strategic Communication program.

Dedinsky, who has witnessed Al Manaa’s journey over the last four years, said she is “curious, fact-based, critical, and fair” and “wants to make a difference in the world.” As the editor of The Daily Q, Dedinsky said that Al Manaa has illustrated “her worthiness for this high honor in many ways: she has always put learning first, and she has traveled far in the digital world, producing videos, podcasts, and written reports on issues such as equality and equal rights.”

Gregory Lowe announced Essid as the winner of the award from the Communication Program, presenting her as “a student of remarkable abilities who has been a stand-out in every respect over the past four years.”

Both in and out of the classroom, Lowe said that she excelled. “She is smart, hardworking, creative, and committed to excellence – and she has demonstrated true leadership over the years – especially this year.”

Keelie Sorel, director of student affairs said that Al-Hardan’s consistently demonstrated “exceptional leadership, integrity, and personal growth.” 

Al-Hardan has served as the student union vice president and sports coordinator; student ambassador; and captain of the women’s football team. “She genuinely cares for the NU-Q community and is always looking for ways to improve things,” Sorel said.