Fondest GW Memories: 2021 Graduates Reminisce on Their Time at the University

Bonding with classmates, visits to the Supreme Court, interacting with Nobel Prize winners, realizing all they had learned in final-year projects are among the fondest memories for undergraduate and graduate students earning degrees in 2021.



Taylor Bologna



Taylor Bologna, Graduate School of Political Management

"At the end of my first semester, I sat in on the Strategic Public Relations capstone presentations. It was a huge ‘aha’ moment for me to hear my peers speak on their chosen topics and to see them apply everything they learned in the program all in one place. Their diverse experiences and passions served as inspiration to explore the various ways I could apply my degree to my career after graduation."


Prakriti Deuja



Prakriti Deuja, Graduate School of Education and Human Development

"Before starting my program, I worried about transitioning to graduate school during a pandemic. But by the end of my first semester, I knew I had already made lifelong friends. From virtual class dynamics in Foundations of College Student Development that felt like second nature, to drinking wine and sharing laughter with Drs. Dortch, Stone and Jones over Zoom, I am forever grateful for my educators, peers and one-of-a-kind experience at GSEHD."


Haley Farr



Haley Farr, GW School of Nursing

"The fondest memory from my nursing program was my practical training experience. I pursued nursing school with the goal of becoming a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse, so when it came time for that training or preceptorship, the NICU was at the top of my preference list. I was fortunate enough to get a placement in GW Hospital’s NICU where I was able to learn from amazing nurses and to see the world of a NICU nurse."


Katherine Goldrick



Katherine Goldrick, School of Engineering and Applied Science

"One Biomedical Engineering lab required us to choose one lab group member in each group to go through a physical fitness beep test. We went to the basement of Science and Engineering Hall, and the runners ran while we all cheered for them. The run was not a contest, but we were all so excited to do something different during a lab that we treated it as our own sports match. I miss seeing my BME friends every day."


Sydney Hamilton



Sydney Hamilton, Trachtenberg School

"In my two years of being a student at GW, some of my fondest memories have stemmed from being involved in the Trachtenberg School’s student-run policy journal, Policy Perspectives. Being involved with Policy Perspectives–first as a writer for the blog, and now as the editor-in-chief of the print journal–has allowed me to meet and form friendships with students just as passionate as I am about public policy. Even better–the students involved in Policy Perspectives are focused on solutions that improve our nation and world."


Jordan Jean



Jordan Jean, GW Law

"There are so many memories. For me, it was serving in the Student Bar Association and ultimately being chair of the new Dean's Advisory Board. In these roles, I was fortunate enough to see firsthand GW Law students' commitment to ensuring an inclusive environment and leaving our mark on a place we were strangers just three short years ago. My peer's commitment to their education and each other will forever guide me in this life."


Claire Kalala



Claire Kalala, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

"My fondest memory is working with my peers and professors in the Art Therapy program on an anti-racism and anti-oppression statement, advocating for self-reflection and change in our program and field. Responding to the tragic loss of Black life at the hands of police, it was powerful to witness our commitment to this growth process, even when it became difficult. With creativity, responsibility and accountability, we stood together in support of an art therapy community where we all belong."


Laura Kehoe



Laura Kehoe, College of Professional Studies

"My wonderful professors and the great classmates who I now call friends and colleagues are what I’ll most remember! However, being a remote student from Texas, my fondest GW memory is my one campus visit for orientation. Christopher Beatty kindly showed me around campus, including the law school and bookstore. The grand finale was personally meeting faculty, including Professor Toni Marsh, and students. Attending in person was not required, but I did not want my first time on campus to be graduation!"



Ujwal Kumar



Ujwal Kumar, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

"My fondest memory at GW has to be travelling to Rhode Island with the Society of Physics Students. Not only were we able to interact with Nobel Prize winners and leading innovators across the world, but we also got to create life-long bonds and represent our university at the largest physics conference in the United States. Playing intramural soccer and volleyball at GW was also a very close choice for my fondest memory."


Linda Huzhi Luo



Linda Huzhi Luo, Elliott School

"My fondest memory is running between my internship at the International Monetary Fund and my classes at GW. Due to GW’s proximity to the IMF headquarters, I could walk to the office within five minutes and work in between my classes. Only at GW would you find yourself attending the IMF press conference for the World Economic Outlook in the morning and having a discussion about it in your economics class later in the day!"


Daniela Dyer Melhado



Daniela Dyer Melhado, Elliott School

"My fondest memory of GW is when I arrived on campus one morning after obtaining an internship with the Honorable Judge Brower through one of the university’s events. I recall looking around and feeling so grateful for being part of the GW community, for being taught by an outstanding faculty and for having attended here. GW has provided a resilient foundation for my future professional career as an international lawyer, and I miss it already."


Elizabeth Mintz



Elizabeth Mintz, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

"My fondest GW memories are the ‘in between moments.’ My time is filled with amazing guest speakers joining classes and attending events across the city. GW has given me more opportunities than I ever thought possible. But the times I’ll look back on most frequently will be the memories made attending professors’ office hours, during late-night study sessions and group project meetings, and in the few minutes chatting with my peers before class begins."


Yejide Olutosin



Yejide Olutosin, School of Business

"Some of my fondest memories as an MBA student were when I had the opportunity to learn and make an impact. I had the pleasure of supporting impact investment efforts for a Rwandan agricultural firm, developing strategies toward increased access to working capital for South African enterprises, and more recently, working with first-year MBAs on how to navigate the business environment in Ghana virtually. I truly appreciate the opportunity to do challenging, meaningful work while building lifelong friendships along the way."


Sean O’Neill



Sean O’Neill, GW Law

"My first year of law school, I went with Dean Alan Morrison and several students to see oral arguments at the Supreme Court. It was a quintessential GW experience—Dean Morrison has argued in front of the Court dozens of times so it seemed like he knew everyone there. We all paid close attention, knowing he would probably quiz us afterwards."


Meher Sahni



Meher Sahni, School of Business

"My time as a student at GW was filled with amazing professors, insightful classes, encouraging peers and a highly motivating environment. I wanted a school that would challenge me, and GW did just that. I never expected to one day be teaching alongside the same first year developmental program instructors that I started my GWSB career with. I am very grateful for the amazing people I've met at GW and the experiences I have had."


Reem Al Shabeeb



Reem Al Shabeeb, School of Medicine and Health Sciences

"GW was my home for both college and medical school. My fondest memory of medical school was when I traveled to San Antonio for my first presentation at a national conference (SLEEP, 2019)! It was a magical experience! I loved participating in research since I was an undergrad, and I will always be grateful for the mentorship that made this happen!"


Zachary Stecher



Zachary Stecher, School of Engineering and Applied Science

"Every year, SEAS hosts a New Student Getaway for its incoming freshman. Our getaway involved a three-day camping trip in West Virginia during which the students, advisers and faculty had a chance to get to know one another in a fun and casual setting before the start of the fall semester. This unorthodox yet brilliant tradition has been the start of so many of my close friendships and has created an incredibly strong community within SEAS."


Alicia Stillman



Alicia Stillman, Milken Institute School of Public Health

"My fondest memories started the day I was accepted into the School of Public Health. I was so looking forward to the challenges. Then came small victories, like learning to navigate the online system. And serendipity, such as finding important research that had been authored by my very own professors. But the most memorable things have come every day since March 2020, when I saw my curriculum played out in real time on the news every single night as we experienced the pandemic."


Hannah Sturgis



Hannah Sturgis, Corcoran School

"I have had many amazing moments as a Corcoran student, but each performance, class and rehearsal culminates into the moment that I will always carry with me. The presentation of my senior thesis film 'Blood Real Red,' which I wrote and starred in, was a surreal night  (spent on Zoom), and I realized all of my hard work over the past four years had finally manifested into a work that I am truly proud of."


Kalyn Womack



Kalyn Womack, School of Media and Public Affairs

"First Night was my fondest memory at GW. I was a first-year student, just departing from my hysterically sobbing mother, sitting in my dorm across from a stranger I had to live with for the rest of the year. It is my favorite memory because it was the most precious moment of exploring a new environment with new people but also the last moment I was that version of me. I like to think of how proud she would be of me now."