College of Public and Int’l Affairs honors its best

College of Public and Int’l Affairs honors its best

In recognition of outstanding academic achievement and in tribute to excellence in scholarship, students and their families who supported them to reach this significant milestone were celebrated at the College of Public and International Affairs (CPIA) Honors Convocation Friday afternoon, May 5, 2017, in the Mertens Theater in the Arnold Bernard Center.

“This is a landmark event for our graduates,” said Dean Thomas Ward, who noted that CPIA graduates have gone on to work in the United Nations, Peace Corps, the media industry, and in top companies and organizations in the region and beyond. “There are so many amazing stories about the challenges some of our graduates have faced and conquered.” Many more CPIA graduates, he noted, have entered the finest graduate schools.

The Convocation also honored top departmental GPA students, scholarship winners, faculty, and visiting scholars. Students were officially accepted into one or more of eight honor societies and all were inducted as CPIA Fellows.

Awards for Highest CPIA GPA

  • Dean’s Award for Highest GPA in Undergraduate Study, Nicholas Williams
  • Dean’s Award for Highest GPA and performance in Graduate Study, Martina Santia

Awards for Highest Departmental GPA


  • Criminal Justice and Human Security Award, Tara Faford
  • International Political Economy and Diplomacy Award, Justin Sabo
  • Martial Arts Studies Award, Shayne Fischman
  • Mass Communication Award, Alexandra Irizarry
  • Religion and Politics Award, Sung Soon Gaval
  • Social Sciences Award, Edward Cirillo


  • East Asian and Pacific Rim Studies Award, Cheong Ha Mark Choi
  • Global Development and Peace Award, Richard Wagner
  • Global Development and Peace Thesis Award, Stefan Lako
  • Global Media and Communication Studies Award, Oluwatofunmi Ayanfodun

U.S. Dept. of State Scholarships

Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic

  • Fernando Gonzalez (IPED/Religion and Politics)
  • Ana Rena (IPED/Religion and Politics)
  • Justin Sabo (IPED)

Critical Language Scholarship to study Korean

  • Sung Soon Gavel (Religion and Politics)

­Gilman International Scholarship

  • Kristina Smith (IPED/Religion and Politics)
  • Ruta Smith (Religion and Politics)

Honor Society Inductions

  • Alpha Phi Sigma, Criminal Justice
  • Lambda Pi Eta, Communication
  • Phi Sigma Iota, Modern Language
  • Phi Tau Kappa, Martial Arts Studies
  • Pi Gamma Mu, Social Science
  • Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science
  • Sigma Iota Rho, International Studies/International Relations
  • Theta Alpha Kappa, Religion

Special Recognition

Julie Parham, Center for Global Studies Director
She was acknowledged for her inter-district magnet school in Norwalk, CT at Brien McMahon High School focusing in international studies. CLS winners Gonzalez and Rena are former students.

Dr. Dave Benjamin, Global Development and Peace Chair
He was recognized for his landmark accomplishment in being named President Designate of the New England Political Science Association, the oldest regional political science organization in the Northeast for 2019-2020.

Dr. Guodong Wei and Dr. Qianru Yang, Hebei University Associate Professors
These visiting scholars were hosted by CPIA for the Spring 2017 semester and were recognized for their commitment and dedication in accomplishing their academic goals and participating in the life and activities of CPIA and UB. Hebei University is located in North China’s Hebei Province and has 50,000 students and 2,200 full time faculty. Dr. Wei is Ancient Chinese History Department Chair, overseeing some 20 faculty members. He studies and teaches modern political and economic history of China. His specialty is on the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Dr. Yang’s specialty is in international relations and Ancient Chinese history.

“About three weeks ago, the Chinese government announced plans to build a new economic zone in Hebei, near Boding where Hebei University is located,” said UB Dr. Nancy Wei, Chair of IPED and EAPRS. “I anticipate more opportunities will flourish between our two universities.”

David Hornby, CPIA Advisory Board member and UB Political Science grad ’79 
He was named  a CPIA “Fellow” for his outstanding commitment to the College. He has a long career in the import/export business and is very active in the Lions Club.