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IWP celebrates stellar achievements at annual Awards Ceremony

Amb. Wos speaking at the 2024 Awards Ceremony
Amb. Woś speaking at the 2024 Awards Ceremony

On the evening of May 10th, 2024, The Institute of World Politics proudly hosted its annual Awards Ceremony, a gathering of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests — coming together to celebrate a year of remarkable achievements and dedicated service. This ceremony preceded an Open House for Graduates, Families, and Guests, which serves as an opportunity for guests of the graduating class to see the IWP campus.

The ceremony commenced with Ambassador Aldona Woś, President of IWP, delivering a heartfelt welcome. She underscored the significance of the evening, emphasizing the Institute’s commitment to fostering leaders equipped to enhance national security and international affairs.

“Tonight, we honor those whose exceptional dedication and intellectual rigor have significantly contributed to our mission and the betterment of global affairs,” Ambassador Woś stated.

Ambassador Woś then introduced Dr. James Robbins, Dean of Academics, who began the awards presentation by acknowledging the hard work and perseverance of the IWP community, particularly highlighting the students who have excelled in the face of a rigorous curriculum.

Ambassador Aldona Woś and Vanessa Duke
Ambassador Aldona Woś and Vanessa Duke with the Outstanding Student Service to IWP Award

The first accolade of the night, the Outstanding Student Service to IWP Award, was bestowed upon Vanessa Duke. A recent graduate with a Master of Arts in Statecraft and International Affairs, Vanessa was celebrated for her commitment beyond academics; she had been instrumental as a Library Assistant and a proactive Student Ambassador. Dr. Robbins praised her for “not only pursuing academic excellence but also enhancing the vibrant community life at IWP.”

Following this, Alexandra Krulewitch was awarded the Student Publication Award for her article, “The Utility of Personality Profiling in Recruiting Assets,” published in The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies. Alexandra, who also completed her Master’s this past December, was recognized for her active involvement in the International Association for Intelligence Education and her significant contributions to the Intelligence Studies Consortium Conference.

The ceremony then shifted to celebrate the milestone achievements of IWP’s faculty, who have dedicated years to educating and mentoring the next generation of leaders in national security and international affairs.

Dr. Robbins continued the award presentations by honoring faculty members who have served IWP for over a decade. Dr. David Glancy was recognized first; he has spent ten years as a Professor of Strategy and Statecraft and holds the prestigious Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair of International Communication. His contributions have been pivotal in developing a nuanced understanding of global strategic communication among students.

Dr. James Robbins
Dr. James Robbins announcing the awards

Similarly, Dr. Anne Bradley was celebrated for her decade-long service as a faculty member. Dr. Bradley, a former CIA economic analyst, has brought invaluable real-world insights to her fundamental economics courses, enriching the academic environment significantly.

Prof. Aaron Danis, an adjunct professor for ten years, was acknowledged for his extensive teaching on counterterrorism and military strategy, as well as his efforts in enhancing IWP’s IAFIE Chapter through engaging war games and fostering academic growth.

Ambassador Phillip Hughes, another decade-long educator at IWP, was recognized for teaching the principles of diplomacy with a foundation built on his experiences as Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Prof. Al Santoli was recognized for his ten years of work as an adjunct professor who has been educating our students about cultural engagement and intelligence.

Dr. Robbins then recognized two recipients of the Outstanding Service to IWP and Our Students Award. IWP students enthusiastically nominated these two recipients. The award was first given to Prof. Aaron Danis for his remarkable dedication.

The award was then presented to Dr. Tim McCranor, who has notably gone above and beyond for his students both as an academic advisor and a professor. His dedication has made a profound impact, making even Saturday classes an enjoyable and enriching experience for students.

IWP Executive Vice President Captain Chris Glass then took the stage to honor outstanding staff members who have exceeded expectations in their roles at IWP. Svetlana Houle, recognized for Outstanding Performance, has been a vital component of the events team, navigating challenging transitions with exceptional dedication and a consistently positive attitude. Captain Glass commended her for keeping the events program vibrant and compelling throughout her tenure at IWP.

Captain Glass recognized Sean Weaver for his incredible work in maintaining the IWP campus with an Outstanding Service to IWP Award, as well as Thelbert Snowden for serving with IWP for ten years and making everything run smoothly as Director of Financial Aid and Compliance Officer.

Chris Glass and Sean Weaver
Chris Glass and Sean Weaver with the Outstanding Service to IWP Award

In terms of intern contributions, Noelle Heineman was awarded Intern of the Year for her diligent work during her time as both a research intern in the Spring of 2023 and an Events and Communications Intern in the Summer of 2023. Her efforts, particularly her research on the Tamil Tigers Women’s Wing with Dr. Christopher C. Harmon, significantly contributed to IWP’s mission.

Katie Bridges, SVP for Alumni, presented the Outstanding Service to IWP Award for Alumni. Recipients included Chris Kay, Class of 2017, who has been instrumental in connecting IWP students with significant opportunities at the Pentagon and has served as a vital resource in marketing and educational outreach efforts.

John W., Class of 2019, a former IWP Alumni Board President, was honored for his leadership and continuous engagement with the alumni community, significantly contributing to the organization and execution of alumni events and mentoring current students.

Dr. John Lenczowski presented the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Publication to Dr. Christohpher C. Harmon for his book Warfare in Peacetime, Proxies and State Powers, published in 2023 by Marine Corps University.

Amb. Woś presented the Chairman Owen T. Smith Service to IWP Award to Kelley DeConciliis, Vice Chairman of the Board of Advisors. Her extensive involvement with IWP, ranging from lecture lunches with interns to advising on major Institute events, has been invaluable. Amb. Aldona Woś praised her for her unyielding support and dedication to fostering leadership and excellence within the IWP community.

Bernadette Smith and Kelley DeConciliis
Bernadette Smith, widow of Owen Smith, and Kelley DeConciliis with the Chairman Owen T. Smith Service to IWP Award

Amb. Woś then presented a President’s Award to Katie Bridges.

Several awardees who could not attend were also recognized, including Prof. Hashem Mekki, Prof. William Messer, Prof. John Quattrocki, Ernesto Blanco, Brian Newsome (’07), Erik Khzmalyan (’19), and Dr. Sara Vakhshouri.

As the ceremony drew to an end, Ambassador Woś expressed her gratitude to all the honorees and attendees for their support and dedication. She then invited all guests to the reception in the back classroom, offering an opportunity for further celebration and networking among the community members. She also reminded guests of the upcoming Commencement ceremonies to be held at the Fairmont the following morning, promising another occasion to honor and celebrate the achievements of IWP’s graduates.

The IWP Annual Awards Ceremony was not only a celebration of individual accomplishments but also a profound reflection of the institute’s ongoing commitment to excellence and leadership in the fields of national security, intelligence, and international affairs. As the community looks to the future, the spirit of dedication and achievement continues to thrive, underscoring IWP’s pivotal role in preparing leaders for the complexities of global interaction and security.

Ambassador Aldona Woś and Dr. Tim McCranor
Ambassador Aldona Woś and Dr. Tim McCranor with the Outstanding Service to IWP and Our Students Award