The university recognizes students who are making their mark in the classroom and in the community.
George Washington University has recognized seven students this academic year for outstanding academic achievement. Each year, GW takes note of full-time first year, sophomores, juniors and seniors who have maintained the highest academic performance, a grade point average of at least 3.94.
In addition, a select group of students is chosen by school deans as “Distinguished Scholars” for accomplishments inside and outside the classroom. They receive a special certificate in recognition of their achievement as Distinguished Scholars.
“The university’s rigorous education demands that our students reach intellectually beyond their comfort zones in order to achieve success,” said Christopher Alan Bracey, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Our Distinguished Scholars have gone above and beyond in their studies, meeting the challenge with distinction and demonstrating their dedication to academic excellence and to growing as scholars and leaders.”
The 2022 Distinguished Scholars:
Darius Cozart, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Cozart is a political science major who participated in community organizing focused on racial and economic inequality in the D.C. area and in his hometown of Denver.
His research aims to explore currents of racial unfreedom and anti-democratic development in American political systems through the lens of policing and incarceration. His future work hopes to connect legacies of Black enslavement in the United States and what he views as its apartheid policy to the contemporary politics of state punishment.
His recent projects include an independent study evaluating the effects of heightened police expenditures on the lethal policing of Black people and a co-authored survey exploring differential perceptions of police funding. After graduating, Cozart will pursue a Ph.D. in political science at Princeton University.
Linnea Dierksheide, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Dierksheide majored in computer science with a minor in economics while working as a research assistant for Gabriel Parmer, associate professor of computer science. The research covered multiple projects on the composite research microkernel, including developing a minimal hypervisor and low-level abstractions for new hardware support. Throughout her four years, she worked as a computer science teacher assistant, supporting students by helping with homework, teaching laboratory sections and facilitating in-class activities.
She served the SEAS community through involvement in student organizations, as the current events director for GW Women in Computer Science and as president of the GW Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Zineb Kadhi, College of Professional Studies
Kadhi majored in information technology and is currently working as a site reliability engineer, where she is combining software engineering and systems engineering to solve problems. Her interest in technology started during her undergraduate studies where she was exposed to programming and cybersecurity.
Besides her interest in technology, she would like to help others to grow their skills and build their confidence to be successful in the tech industry. When she is not busy with work, she likes to hike, do hot yoga and spend time with her two dogs.
Philip Parel, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Parel is a double-major in chemistry and biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology. He is a GW Presidential Academic Scholar and a Phi Beta Kappa inductee. Parel is among the first to support his peers and willingly volunteers his time to help classmates who are struggling with course material. He is also an avid volunteer, spending his time serving breakfast at a local homeless shelter, Miriam’s Kitchen, and tutoring his peers as an undergraduate teaching assistant.
In the fall, Parel will be matriculating at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences where he plans to pursue his dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, serving the underprivileged and giving back to the many communities and people who raised him.
Shreenithi Venkataraman, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Venkataraman studied public health with a minor in women’s, gender and sexuality studies. She worked as a research assistant for Jameta Barlow, assistant professor of writing for the Women’s Leadership Program, researching the applications of womanist frameworks in Black girls’ and women’s health. She is invested in reimagining the role of community care in public health, particularly for marginalized groups. On campus, she is the president of GW Women of Color and a member of GW Chamak, a dance team.
After graduating, she will be pursuing a job in community health and plans to further her studies in both public health and women's, gender and sexuality studies.
Cynthia Yue, Elliott School of International Affairs
Yue majored in international affairs with a concentration in international economics. As a UNICEF Youth Ambassador, she helped reinforce the European Union's commitment to child welfare and launched a youth advocacy campaign at the UN General Assembly that amassed over 450 million engagements. In her current role as the U.S. youth observer to the United Nations, she represents young people at the U.N. and has led global initiatives for sustainability, diversity and human rights.
Currently, she also serves as one of 30 youth representatives in the Biden-Harris administration and MTV's inaugural White House Mental Health Youth Action Forum. As an Elliott School Dean's Scholar, she researched the impact of human rights and non-compulsory treaties on transnational climate change litigation. This fall, Yue will attend Harvard University as a candidate for a master’s in public policy.
Lexington Zografakis, School of Business
Zografakis is a fourth-year student in the School of Business pursuing a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics. On campus, she is involved in the Women in Finance Alliance, Delta Sigma Pi and the TAMID consulting group. She also has served as a teaching assistant for two semesters with the GW Investment Institute. In addition, for two semesters Zografakis has been interning for Obsess, an e-commerce start-up developing 3D virtual stores for fashion and retail brands. Following graduation, she will be working full time at Bates White Economic Consulting to further explore her interests in economics, business and law.