Awarding the best and brightest student ambassadors

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participants discussing

2019 Student Award Winners Group Photo

GPS celebrates its 2019 changemakers in an intimate ceremony on May 24 highlighting leadership, academic excellence and quantitative mastery  

By Rachel Hommel | GPS News

Mentors. Tutors. Advocates. At the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), our annual student awards ceremony celebrates the multinational – and multilingual – stories of excellence.

“Each year we take great pride in recognizing the best ambassadors of our school through our student awards program,” said Dean Peter Cowhey. “Here is a toast to all of you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making these years so special, and for making this place great.”

Our students are not only role models in the classroom, but leaders in their fields of expertise. They are in the offices of Pew Research, working in migrant shelters across Mexico, consulting on U.S.-China trade frictions on the ground in China and so much more. At their core, they believe that team building, leadership, collaboration and creativity are central to being a GPS student.

Cristina Confalonieri and Peter CowheySelected by her classmates, Cristina “Crissie” Confalonieri, MAS-IA ’19 embodies international learning. Working as a South Korean broadcaster and radio host for over 10 years, Confalonieri also received several awards including the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity from the Italian government and a Certificate of Commendation from the Korean Ministry of Justice.

“GPS is an international family for me. Everybody brings their own diversity and it enriches the whole community,” said Confalonieri. “Sharing our experiences together promotes an environment where everyone wants to learn more about each other.”

Recipient of the Joseph Grunwald Award this year is Savitri Arvey, MPP ’19. She embodies the aspirations of Professor Joseph Grunwald, advocating for economic and political cooperation throughout the Americas as evident in research projects she participated in at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies.

“Savi has made use of the living laboratory that is next door at the border, learning to better understand the current refugee crisis at the border,” said Professor Rafael Fernández de Castro. “I’m sure she will continue to take on social justice issues in the Americas in her future professional endeavors.”

Caio Mansini and Craig McIntoshAt GPS, students become masters of the written word. New this year was the Richard Covington Award, which supports a student moving a class paper through to publication. This year, Caio Mansini, MIA ’19 was applauded for his technically excellent program design and evaluation paper on cyber politics and data regulation.

“This innovative and sophisticated paper is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in 16 years,” beamed Professor Craig McIntosh. “It has tremendous intellectual ownership. Congratulations Caio!”

We also celebrate our faculty, who not only inspire our graduates but help support their personal and professional growth. But it’s not every faculty member who is willing to support QUIRPS student club events on the weekend, advances opportunities for students studying Latin American issues and is cool enough to dress up as Wolverine for Halloween.

“Over the past two years, Professor Gordon McCord has stood out to our class for his genuine motivation to do good in the world, his investment of time in individual students and the expectation that we will work just as hard as he does,” said Alicia Krueger, MPP ‘19. “We are extremely grateful for the time and energy you have given to each of us.”

GPS was founded on its global citizenry. In memory of the late Ayal Margalith, a student who represented the school’s vision of leadership, Margalith’s wife read his GPS application, which spoke of leadership, compassion and devotion to his community. Continuing this legacy, Jerin Tan, BA/MIA ’19 represents that same spirit, holding the community together to ensure everyone has a place at the table.

“Jerin’s warmth and exuberance brings a renewed sense of inspiration to everyone she comes across,” said Nic Zinter, MIA ‘19 and this year’s commencement speaker. “I have witnessed firsthand Jerin’s tireless efforts to foster a greater sense of community, to make all students at GPS – international, domestic, shy, boisterous and everything in between – feel welcome and included in our little graduate community.”

2019 GPS award winners:

  • Savitri “Savi” Arvery, 2019 MPP candidateJoseph Grunwald Award
  • Cristina “Crissie” Confalonieri, 2019 MAS-IA candidate, MAS-IA Peer Award
  • Danielle Kish, 2019 MAS-IA candidate, MAS-IA Academic Achievement Award
  • Han Yuen “Janice” Lee, 2019 MIA candidate, Dean’s Teaching Award
  • Yi Liu, 2019 MCEPA candidate, MCEPA Academic Achievement Award
  • Caio Mansini, 2019 MIA candidate, Richard Covington Award
  • Gordon McCord, professor, Faculty Recognition Award
  • Nicholas “Nick” Rhodes, 2020 MIA candidate, Doming Liu Award
  • Hera Razvi, 2019 MPP candidate and Grayson Sakos, 2019 MIA candidate, Ruth Adams Award
  • Grayson Sakos, 2019 MIA candidate, Econometrics Prize
  • Jerin Tan, 2019 BA/MIA candidate, Ayal Margalith Memorial Award
  • Alyssa Tutterow, 2019 MPP candidate, MPP Academic Achievement Award
  • Qiuyi “Vivian” Wang, 2019 MIA candidate, Language Achievement Award
  • Kangyu “Mark” Wang, 2019 candidate, MIA Academic Achievement Award
  • Nicholas “Nic” Zinter, 2019 MIA candidate, Student Commencement Speaker

For a full album of ceremonies, visit here.

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