Title: Congratulations to the STIA Class of 2022
Remarks by STIA Director, Professor Joanna Lewis, at the STIA graduation reception on May 20, 2022.
It is such a pleasure to be here with all of you today to celebrate our graduates. This is the first time since I took over as director in July of 2019 that we have been able to hold this reception in person. And while I have now seen 13 years of STIA classes graduate since I first came to Georgetown, I feel like I share a particularly special bond with this STIA undergraduate class. Most of you were sophomores when I was leading the STIA gateway course, STIA 305, during spring of 2020 semester. I still remember when we were doing the unit on global pandemics with Professor Rebecca Katz that February and before every class she would have just come from President DeGioia’s office where a group of experts and administrators were watching the coming COVID-19 pandemic and making decisions about how to respond. She then told us that we may not be back after spring break, which seemed like a ridiculous proposition at the time. But indeed, we resumed our class on zoom a week later, and finished the semester that way as well.
We then spent much of the next year online. I remember seeing many of you at the STIA welcome back reception we held last fall. You were back on campus, as seniors, and joking about how you kept getting lost trying to find your classes since you were so unfamiliar with campus. I remember being struck at how untraditional this Georgetown experience had been for you all, and yet how you were still all persevering, making the best of the situation, and still finding ways to connect with each other, with the faculty, and with the broader local and global community.
And now we are all so proud of all you’ve been able to accomplish. We have 81 STIA majors graduating this weekend: 19 in biotechnology and global health, 19 in business, growth and development, 22 in energy and environment, and 21 in science, technology and security.
We also have 17 minors – students from the college majoring in biology, psychology, biological physics, American studies, chemistry, government, history, economics, mathematics. and one from the business school majoring in finance.
This year our first STIA master’s students from the MSFS program are graduating. We have 15 students in that first cohort!
This year we also had 8 students graduate with honors: James Bond, Anjali Britto, Allison Cho, Scotia Hille, Olivia Kleier, Megan McGuire, Shuait Nair, and Isabella Turilli. We will be recognizing them at the Tropaia ceremony following this reception today. Each completed an impressive honors thesis that in most cases required over a year of work.
I also want to recognize our recipient of the Charles Weiss Medal awarded for the highest excellence and achievement in the field of science, technology and international affairs, Ryan Remmel. In addition to his STIA major, Ryan completed a biology minor (in 3 years) as he is also in the accelerated Master’s program in global infectious disease, and he has been working with the Global Health Science and Security program at the medical school.
Our students are heading off to do amazing things after graduation. I want to just mention a few to give you all a sense of the real diversity in how our students are applying their STIA education. Elizabeth McDermott is off to Loyola Chicago to pursue her MSF in environmental sustainability studies. Shuait Nair is headed to Johns Hopkins medical school. Sarah Keisler will be completing her accelerated master’s in security studies and Ben Schatz is completing his master’s in foreign service at Georgetown. Yasmine Barbes is pursuing a master’s in event management at NYU. Devon Malone will be studying environmental law at Columbia. Clara Ma is pursuing a master’s in technology policy at MIT. Megan McGuire is off to Europe for the EU Eurasmus Mundus joint master’s program. Timothy Rudolph-Math is headed to SUNY college of medicine. Victoria Boatwright will be pursuing a PhD in physical oceanography at Scripps after a Fulbright in Germany.
Our students heading into the workforce similarly exhibit a diverse range of career paths. For example, Nethra Vishwanathan and Isaac Clark are headed to Deloitte as cyber risk analysts, Christine Sun will be a product manager at Microsoft, Claire Cutler and Noelle Gignoux will be entering the AmeriCorps VISTA program, Amanda Chu will be a journalist at the Financial Times, Brigid Clifford is headed to Pine Gate Renewables, Ty Williams will be a naval aviator with the US Navy and Chloe Wawerek will be a cyber officer with the US Army, Lauren Russel is headed to Teach for America, and Olivia Kleier is headed into the Peace Corps in Paraguay. And of course many of our students are headed into management consulting and will be posted all over the world.
I want to end by thanking all of the STIA faculty and staff for all of their efforts this year to keep things running smoothly and to provide engaging education in the classrooms and on zoom, juggling constant quarantines. Thank you especially to STIA office assistant and graduating STIA senior Marta Jerebets! And welcome to our new STIA assistant director, Rebecca McKiernan.
Thank you all for coming to celebrate our graduates. Please enjoy the refreshments and stay cool this weekend.
Photo: STIA Major Kirk Zieser at with Jack at the tidal basin.