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IWP celebrates Awards Ceremony on the eve of Commencement

On Friday, May 12, 2023, The Institute of World Politics community gathered for its first-ever Awards Ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of IWP students, faculty, staff, and interns at its main campus.

IWP’s Award Ceremony occurred the evening before the Presidential Investiture and Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2023. The Awards Ceremony celebrated those students, faculty, staff, and interns who have achieved success in their endeavors or dedicated themselves to the school to help make IWP a success.

The President of IWP, Ambassador Aldona Woś, opened the ceremony by thanking the students for their dedication in the face of a challenging curriculum and their perseverance in working to make a significant difference for the security of our country. Ambassador Woś also recognized our extraordinary faculty for their commitment to the Institute and the success of their students, and she recognized the hard work of the staff who operate behind the scenes to help keep IWP moving. Ambassador Woś also highlighted the importance of IWP’s internship program and the role these students play in helping the Institute.

After giving opening remarks for the evening, Ambassador Woś turned over the microphone to IWP Dean of Academics, Dr. James Robbins, to begin the Awards presentation. Dr. Robbins recognized Sean Honesty, recipient of the Outstanding Student Service to IWP Award. Sean, a graduating master’s student, has tirelessly devoted his time to supporting IWP as the President of the Student Government Association, a Student Ambassador of IWP, and a participant in the Student Speaker Series. Dr. Robbins then recognized Matthew Jenkins with an Outstanding Publication Award for his article “Galactic Dissonance for the Space Force” and his commitment to our country through his years of military service.

Amb. Aldona Wos and Sean Honesty
Sean Honesty received an Outstanding Service to IWP Award.

Dr. Robbins also presented the Milestone Award to honor years of service by IWP faculty. The Award was presented to several faculty members for their continuous support of IWP students both inside and outside the classroom and the brilliant work they continue to do. The award was first presented to IWP Founder, President Emeritus, and Chancellor Dr. John Lenczowski for 33 years of service. The Award was then given to Professor Joshua Muravchik for 30 years with IWP and his invaluable foundational courses in the IWP curriculum that taught students about ideas and values in international politics.

Dr. Robbins also presented the Milestone Award to Dr. Jack Tierney for 22 years of service as a full-time faculty member, his former role as a Walter Kohler Professor of International Relations, and now Professor Emeritus at IWP. In addition, Dr. David Thomas was recognized for 23 years of service as a dedicated adjunct and is now a full-time faculty member who has taught invaluable courses on intelligence. Finally, Dr. Christopher C. Harmon was also presented with the Milestone Award for his 16 years of service as an adjunct professor. He is now full-time and has taught IWP courses on counterterrorism, military strategy, and related topics.

The Milestone Award was also given to several other faculty members who could not be in attendance the evening of the ceremony but were recognized for their many years of service to IWP, including Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz for 19 years, Professor Douglas Streusand and Professor Charles Smith for over 15 years, and Professor John Tsagronis for over 10 years. Professor John Quattrocki was given a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Service to IWP and our Students.

IWP staff members were also awarded for their contributions to the Institute. Captain Chris Glass presented the award for Outstanding Performance to Mason Taylor, the Intern Coordinator and Operations Manager. Mason has played a critical role in IWP’s operations since he first joined and has always supported and helped the Institute with a smile.  Captain Glass also recognized Lucio Vasquez for his extraordinary work behind the scenes in the day-to-day maintenance of IWP. Captain Glass acknowledged Elaine Pinder and Melissa McGuire for their work and dedication during their time with IWP, but they unfortunately could not attend the ceremony.

Mason Taylor receiving an award
Mason Taylor received an Outstanding Service to IWP Award.

Captain Glass presented the Milestone Awards for IWP staff members, including Dean of Students and Senior Vice President Jason Johnsrud for 23 years of service, Director of Library Services Dimitry Kulik for 20 years of service to IWP’s library, Derrick Dortch for 17 years of service helping maintain IWP’s 97% alumni job placement rate, Academic Director Mallorie Marino for 15 years of service, Library Manager Vilen Khlgatyan for 10 years of service, and Senior Vice President of Graduate Recruitment Tim Stebbins for 10 years of service helping grow the student body at IWP.

Mason Taylor then presented the intern award to Lucy Matthews for her tireless effort as an intern and dedication to the Institute and her internship.

Christine Balling, the Senior Vice President of Professional Affiliations, presented the Alumni Outstanding Service Award to Sebastian Smeureanu, who has become part of the IWP staff and has worked on IWP online courses.

IWP founder Dr. Jon Lenczowski awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Publication to IWP’s Dr. John Tierney Jr. for his recent publication of The Past as Prologue: Over There in American History.

Dr. Lenczowski thanked all in attendance for IWP’s first-ever Awards Ceremony and invited Michael Webber of the Class of 2012 to speak about the late Professor Ambassador Alberto Piedra. Ambassador Piedra taught IWP courses on Western moral tradition and foreign policy for many years and served as the Donald E. Bently Professor of Political Economy at IWP.  On behalf of the alumni, Michael presented a plaque commemorating Amb. Piedra to Amb. Aldona Woś.

Michael Webber presenting a plaque to IWP
Michael Webber (’12) presented a plaque in honor of the late professor Amb. Alberto Piedra to IWP.

After the remarks made by Michael Webber, John, the Alumni Board President and Class of 2019 graduate, proceeded to speak about the late Professor S. Eugene Poteat, a former CIA Scientific Intelligence Officer who earned the CIA’s Medal of Merit and the National Reconnaissance Office’s Meritorious Civilian Award for his technological innovations. Professor Poteat taught courses at IWP on technology, intelligence, security, and statecraft and was remembered fondly by his students, the faculty, and the staff. John presented Amb. Woś with a plaque commemorating Prof. Poteat.

A reception followed the ceremony, and all attendees were invited to the Presidential Investiture and Commencement for our graduating class the following day.

Congratulations to all award recipients, and thank you for your continued service to The Institute of World Politics!