Eleven graduates from the Global Leadership dual degree program were recently celebrated at the program’s annual Pinning Ceremony in Melbourne, Australia. Swinburne University’s Executive Dean Michael Gilding shared “Our respective universities have long understood the importance of partnering on the global stage—as graduates, you now have an even more important role to play in the advancement of your community, and indeed the world at large.”
Alumna Wei Li Wong, class of 2010, inspired the graduates and audience of more than 100 alumni, faculty, staff and family members, with her vision of helping students ready themselves for the workplace. She reflected on her time in the leadership program as “being one of the best times in my life” adding that she is “grateful for how well the Global Leadership program prepared me for a career in helping others.”
Chin Tan, Swinburne University Director of Multicultural Engagement, expressed the importance of embracing diversity, respecting others, and fulfilling a standing commitment to inclusiveness. In his message to the graduates, David Fields, Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Academic and Faculty Affairs at the College of Professional Studies commented “Our long history with this unique transnational partnership with Swinburne University—nearly 10 years in the making—is a testament not only to the success of the global leadership dual degree program and a wide matrix of activities, but it is also a living representation of our global footprint in action.”
Ishaku Haruna, of the class of 2014, produced a video highlighting the Class of 2016 giving back initiative for a community school in Nigeria. Every year, as part of the pinning ceremony, students raise funds for a special project that will benefit a community in need.
Kristal Jericho, class of 2013, and ViJay Dhamale, class of 2012, shared that “Over the past two years our graduates have been blessed with a world class education from two top universities, so to give back they have been raising money for a community in Nigeria that has only one elementary school. This school operates within a dilapidated building that has no roof or windows, no furniture or supplies, with just stones for the children to sit on….. due to the lack of infrastructure, children are often sent home during the rainy season and classes are unable to continue. We are very pleased to announce tonight that $2,000 was raised through our efforts and that exceeded our goal. Work on building a proper classroom will commence later this year.”
Ismael Thesis, class of 2015, presented the awards on behalf of the Class of 2016. Estaban Montoya received the Leadership Spirit award which is presented to students who demonstrate a keen desire to involve others from the class in leadership activities. This award is designed to recognize a student or students who put forth valuable effort towards advancing the Global Leadership program, its goals and objectives, and the greater community. Martha Marroquin received the Leadership Star award given to a student who embraces his or her own leadership style to its fullest potential for the benefit of all students. The award is designed to recognize a student who goes above and beyond in assignments, course participation, and interactions with other students. This award also recognizes a student who displays crucial intercultural engagement abilities, particularly given our large multi-cultural, multi-lingual student body. The Teaching in Excellence award was presented to Dr. Richard J. Petronio and the Program Excellence award was presented to Chandana Hewege.
Katie Woodhouse, class of 2011, welcomed the class of 2016 to Husky Nation, a network of more than 350,000 Northeastern University graduates spread around the world not to mention the 85,000 alumni worldwide for Swinburne. She invited graduates to take a Northeastern pin and place it on the person next to them in a show of connectedness to one another as a proud Husky for life. Pinned graduates included: Thanuwit Kirdsuppaisarn, Nisrine Dendane, Martha Marroquin, Tuan Nguyen, Erika Beiner, Esteban Montoya, Sophia Ho, Tam Nguyen, Karina Romero, Wan Ting Loke, and Andrea Tello. Christian Carluccio, class of 2015, toasted the newly pinned alumni for 2016.
We congratulate all alumni and wish them success in the next chapter of their lives!