OIP recognizes top International Education student, writing competition winners

Maria Cruzat
Monday, May 11, 2020

Maria Cruzat, who is majoring in Public Health, International Studies and Spanish, is the 2020 recipient of the International Education Student Award, given by the Office of International Programs. She is a Levine Scholar, Global Engagement Scholar and a UNC Charlotte American Mock World Health Organization co-founder.

“Maria has taken advantage of every opportunity to visit, explore and investigate countries around the world. She is sure to pay forward her interest and dedication to the health and well-being of people in multiple cultural settings,” wrote Diane Zablotsky, faculty director of the Levine Scholars Program, in recommending Cruzat for the award.

Cruzat’s contributions and involvement include studying abroad in five different countries and volunteering with UNC Charlotte student organizations and Habitat for Humanity. She also has extensive research experience, working as an undergraduate research assistant for various faculty members in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences and Department of Sociology.

As the 2020 International Education Student Award recipient, Cruzat will receive a plaque and $500 stipend, presented on behalf of Assistant Provost Joël Gallegos and the Office of International Programs.

The Marian Beane Crossing Borders Writing Competition is sponsored by its namesake and the Office of International Programs with collaboration from the English Language Training Institute. The writing competition accepts original essays from UNC Charlotte graduate, undergraduate and ELTI upper level English language learners. Approximately 31 students submitted essays on how their international experiences affected their perspectives of the world.

In the graduate category, Lydia Grier, a graduate student in Social Work was the winner. Tequilla Bennett, master’s in Social Work, and Ivan Flores Martinez, master’s in Public Policy, received honorable mentions.

In the undergraduate category, Afra Mahmood, an undergraduate student in Public Health was named the winner. Jazmyne Carter, International Studies, and Areanna Nixon, Communication Studies and Spanish, were honorable mentions.

In the English Language Training Institute upper level students (level 4, 5, and 6) category, Reem Alshalal, a level 5 student was named the winner. Hussam Mahammed Alohani, level 4, and Eman Alnasr, level 5, received honorable mentions.

The Marian Beane Crossing Borders Writing Competition winners and honorable mentions receive a monetary prize in recognition for their achievement courtesy of Beane.