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‘We are a New Generation of Young and Enthusiastic Leaders’

May 17, 2022

Jahongir Aminjanov ’22 shares refugee experience in his Graduate Convocation address.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Tajikistan was embroiled in a civil war that forced Jahongir Aminjanov and his family to flee to a neighboring country.

“From my personal experience I know how it feels to be in danger, I know how a war looks like, I know how it feels to go to bed hungry,” said Aminjanov in his remarks at the Maxwell School Graduate Convocation on Friday, May 13. “Today as we walk out these doors, we are far more prepared and informed about internal and global issues. We are better decision makers now. We are a new generation of young and enthusiastic leaders.”

Aminjanov, who earned an executive master of public administration, was one of several speakers at the event, which launched the weekend of graduation festivities for the Maxwell School and College of Arts and Sciences.

In his address, Dean David M. Van Slyke spoke about the need for “active, engaged and thoughtful citizens” across the world, “people who are willing to listen, learn and participate— those who, at times, respectfully challenge other’s positions—and who are always focused on improving and strengthening our communities and not simply defending or advancing a particular position or argument.” 

Male student in graduation regalia speaking at a podium

Simon Weschle, assistant professor of political science, was honored as this year’s recipient of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for Teaching and Research. Other faculty and student honorees included the recipients of the University’s Meredith Teaching Recognition for Early Performance Award: Timur Hammond, assistant professor of geography and the environment, and Jun Li, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs. Maxwell Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty awards were given to Shannon Monnat, associate professor of sociology; Theresa Singleton, professor of anthropology; and George Kallander, associate professor of history.

Student honorees included Doctoral Prize Award recipients Sean Hamilton Reid (Anthropology), Joaquin Urrego Garcia (Economics), Scarlett Rebman (History), Brian Hennigan (Geography and the Environment), Beatriz Policicio Rey (Political Science), Jeehee Han (Public Administration and International Affairs), Olga Boichak (Social Science) and Adrienne Atterberry (Sociology). And, the following Outstanding Teaching Assistants were announced: André Anselmo (Political Science), Athena Nicole Last (Sociology), Brooklyn A. Montgomery (Political Science), Christopher Rick (Public Administration and International Affairs) and Gabriel Ari Roth (History).

By Jessica Youngman

Published in the Summer 2022 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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