A student, professor and staff member were honored for winning the George Washington Award during Sunday’s Commencement ceremony.
Joshua D’Angelo, who graduated Sunday from the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Deputy General Counsel Charles K. Barber; and Edward J. Cherian, a professor of information systems and technology management, received the 2013 GW Award.
Provost Steven Lerman commended the award winners for their extraordinary contributions. “Each has shaped the university and made it the outstanding institution it is today,” Dr. Lerman said.
The recipients were nominated by members of the GW community for their efforts to advance the university goals by maximizing the connection between the university and the surrounding communities, working with students to advance academic and extracurricular pursuits and exhibiting integrity, goodwill and dedication in working with and for GW.
Dr. D’Angelo, the student winner, combined his passion for patient care with a call to serve the greater community as the student assembly president of the American Physical Therapy Association.
While in office, he created the first service program for D.P.T. students, called The Challenge, and coordinated 1,200 hours of community service for students at Little Workers of the Sacred Heart Pro Bono Clinic, the American Physical Therapy Association Foundation for Physical Therapy, Bread for the City and more.
“As students privileged to study in an elite institution in the nation’s capital, we have an obligation to give back to our community, which provides us with many unparalleled resources and opportunities,” Dr. D’Angelo said.
“Engaging in service activities has provided me with a better idea of how I can be an effective health care practitioner and advocate for my patients,” he said.
Dr. D’Angelo will begin his career as an outpatient physical therapist at Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation in downtown D.C., just blocks from where he honed his leadership skills at GW.
He said he plans to continue his work at the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart Pro Bono Clinic to advance his skills as clinician, advocate and health professional. He also hopes to pursue an advanced certification in manual therapy and become a clinician specialist.
Faculty recipient Edward Cherian, professor of information systems and technology management in the GW School of Business, also echoes a dedication to the GW community and lifelong learning.
“I came to the George Washington University 28 years ago as a professor and I made a commitment to be an integral part of the university,” Dr. Cherian said. “GW quickly became a central part of my life in my teaching, research and service on numerous committees and special assignments.”
Dr. Cherian has served on the Innovation Task Force and the University Budget Committee, among others, helping to refine and improve university budget procedures and increase resources for academic initiatives.
His contributions—as a leader of a Faculty Senate special committee, where he worked with the School of Public Health and Health Services on Faculty Code compliance, as a member of the special committee to establish the School of Nursing, and as an adviser to the development of the online Healthcare M.B.A. in the School of Business—have made him a crucial part of the university’s success.
“I invested time and energy in understanding how this institution works and how we can make it a better place—all of it, not just my department and school,” Dr. Cherian said. “As I work in different roles, I become a larger part of this fine university and it makes me a better teacher and scholar—a better person.”
Mr. Barber, the staff recipient of the GW Award, joined the Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel in 1996 as associate counsel and has led the legal team in all zoning authorizations for real estate development since 1999.
Additionally, he managed the expansion and renovation of the 20-Year Campus Plan for Foggy Bottom and the 10-Year Campus Plan for Mount Vernon.
“GW is at the forefront of interesting issues of importance locally, nationally and internationally, and it has been rewarding to be able to participate in addressing these issues in a meaningful way,” Mr. Barber said.
These efforts, along with his service to the mayor’s Regulatory Reform Task Force, the School Without Walls, the Duke Ellington School for the Arts and the D.C. Building Industry Association, forged unprecedented relationships with the greater Washington community that boosted the university’s presence in D.C.
Mr. Barber, whose nominator’s statement called him “admired, loved and emulated,” stressed the importance of connecting across different sectors of the university and beyond the campus community to build a better GW.
“These activities have made me feel connected to a larger mission, and have provided me the support of a wider network of friends and colleagues,” Mr. Barber said.