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Profiles of Previous Global Citizen Award Winners

Marcella Cavallaro

Marcella Cavallaro 2016 Recipient
Our first recipient Marcella Cavallaro, a senior majoring in Visual Disabilities Education. She has worked at the CGE for three years, is the former President of the InternatioNole student group, and serves on the board for Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. As one nominator said, “She is always willing to go out of her way to make sure international students feel welcome and cared for, and she actively engages in leadership to celebrate each culture.”

Jesse Smith-Appleson

Jesse Smith-Appleson 2016 Recipient
Our second Global Citizen Award recipient Jesse Smith-Appleson, a senior Sociology major with a wide range of cross-cultural engagement, including volunteer service in Nicaragua, a Social Science Scholar research internship in Paraguay, an internship working with Latino farmworker youth, involvement with FSU’s Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights’ Farmworker Committee, and her work with the Center for Global Engagement as a student assistant. Her accomplishments exemplify a Global Citizen. As her nominator wrote, she “deserves to be recognized for her sustained engagement in intercultural activities and for her significant investments in international social justice through training, study, advocacy, and research.”

Ye Wang

Ye Wang 2016 Recipient
Our final recipient is Ye Wang, a doctoral student in Educational Psychology. Wang has volunteered to assist new international students to ease their transition to life at FSU and is ever-present at intercultural events on campus. He has had a campus-wide impact through his service to the Asian American Student Union (AASU) as he works to bridge the gap between FSU’s international students and AASU members. As one nominator said, he deserves recognition because of his “consistent devotion to learning more of other students’ stories and creating moments where he can share his so that the FSU community can broaden their perspective of the world.”

Austin Wisdom

Austin Wisdom 2015 Recipient
Our first recipient is Mr. Austin Wisdom, a Senior International Affairs and Latin-American Caribbean Studies double major. From supporting anti-human trafficking efforts to hosting holiday meals for exchange students and helping international students improve their English skills, Austin’s nominator sums it up well: Austin “has been selfless… in his commitment to serving the international community.”

Daniela Donoso

Daniela Donoso 2015 Recipient
Our second recipient is Ms. Daniela Donoso, an Economics and International Affairs double major. One nominator writes that Daniela “enjoys spending time with international students and…encourages her friends and fellow FSU students to develop… understanding of other cultures.” Daniela has worked as a Peer Mentor, leading and living alongside FSU exchange students from China, South Korea, Japan, Mexico and Canada. She has also served as Community Outreach Chair for AIRR, Advocates for Immigrants and Refugee Rights, and Volunteer Coordinator for FSU’s Chapter of the International Justice Mission.

Parth Vakil

Parth Vakil 2014 Recipient
Our first recipient is Mr. Parth Vakil, a doctoral student in Chemistry. In addition to serving as International Student Advocate with the Congress of Graduate Students and Vice President of the student organization InternatiNOLE, Parth has presented interactive talks about his home country of Kenya to local schools as a Global Ambassador, assisted in organizing a TEDxFSU event, and represented FSU at the Florida International Leadership Conference. One nominator writes “I will not be surprised if one day Parth accepts a Nobel Peace Prize. If we had more people like him spreading international love and acceptance, global peace would be in the future.”

Matthew Vedrin

Matthew Vedri 2014 Recipient
Our second recipient is Mr. Matthew Vedrin, a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. has worked as an International student Peer Mentor and Critical Skills Mentor in the CGE as well as becoming an active participant and advocate for international exchange at the College of Engineering. An initial exchange to Jonkoping University in Sweden was followed by a semester in Brazil collaborating with Brazilian students on a joint senior design project in sustainable energy. One professor comments that Matthew’s dedication and experiences “suggest a strong potential to significantly impact the future of sustainable energy in the U.S. and the world.”

Marlene Baldeweg-Rau

Marlene Baldeweg-Rau 2013 Recipient
Our first recipient is Ms. Marlene Baldeweg-Rau, a senior studying Editing, Writing and Media. In watching Marlene interact with other students, her sincere love for people and her ability to connect across cultures is very clear. She goes the extra mile to make people feel welcomed, whether it be by providing Christmas presents and a tree to a newly immigrated family or waking up early to welcome new international students at the airport with a fresh batch of muffins – Marlene has a gift for making others feel like they belong. Marlene has also used her cross-cultural experiences to educate and motivate others. Having spent some time in Germany, Marlene was excited to facilitate an OktoberFest event here at FSU. She also holds and important leadership position as vice-president of InternatioNole. In this capacity, she has planned events and outings that provide opportunities for FSU students of various nationalities and cultures to meet and build meaningful friendships. Most recently, Marlene was instrumental in organizing the InternatioNole Cultural Fusion event at Club Downunder, which featured cultural performances from a variety of student associations. One nominator describes Marlene as "a charismatic, positive and ambitious individual" who is "always there to help" and who is "always encouraging people to get involved."

Paige Dabney

Paige Dabney 2013 Recipient
Our second recipient is Ms. Paige Dabney, a sophomore International Affairs major. One nominator states that Paige has an "interest in the world, in people, in culture and in making a difference." During her two years at FSU, Paige has volunteered as a conversation partner with the Center for Intensive English Studies, presented sessions at the Multicultural Leadership Summit and Going Global, represented FSU as a participant at the Florida International Leadership Conference, assisted with Global Café, and served as director of public relations and treasurer for InternatioNole, all while somehow making the time to play in the Marching Chiefs, work toward completing the Global Pathways Certificate, and maintain a 4.0 GPA. In her free time, Paige has been a regular attendee at International Coffee Hour. It was through Coffee Hour that she formed a bond with a Georgian exchange student named Mariam (Georgia - the country not the state). Together, Mariam and Paige applied for and received an American Cultural Ambassador Fellowship grant from the U.S. Department of State with which they conducted a 6-day Global Leadership and Environment Action seminar last summer for high school students in Gori, Georgia. Paige plans to return to Georgia this summer, through a Social Science Scholar Fellowship, to continue work on last summer's project.

Pradiip Alvarez

Pradiip Alvarez 2012 Recipient
Pradiip Alvarez is an undergraduate student majoring in physics and astrophysics. Not only is Pradiip serious about science – Pradiip has a great passion for building connections amongst people of various cultures. One nominator writes of Pradiip that he “networks and uses that network to spread information about intercultural opportunities. He is one of the most effective ambassadors for internationalization on campus.” Pradiip has played a central role in encouraging other Venezuelan and international students at the Panama Canal campus to take advantage of the opportunity to study at the FSU main campus in Tallahassee. In 2011 Pradiip represented FSU at the Florida International Leadership Conference (FILC) where he expanded his network to include international students and U.S. study abroad students from FSU and several other Florida universities and colleges. Pradiip has also served as treasurer of the FSU chapter of Amnesty International, has participated in Global Peace Exchange and InternatioNOLE, and is currently involved in the planning of TedxFSU 2012.

John Sheetz

John Sheetz 2012 Recipient
John Sheetz is a graduate student in the College of Social Work. Prior to his studies at FSU, John served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ukraine for four years. John has lived and worked in Italy and has traveled through several countries in central Europe. Since coming to FSU, John has studied abroad in South Africa, interned with the Catholic Charities Refugee Services, and completed the Global Pathways Certificate – Human Rights track. John has eagerly sought out occasions to talk to classes of social work students about some of his international experiences. John intentionally shares with his peers in order to encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone, illustrating to them the personal and societal value of learning about and engaging with people of other cultures, whether on campus or abroad. His nominator writes, "I have seen John soften the anxious resistance some have to taking steps away from the familiar and into the unpredictable. Maybe more importantly, I have experienced him spreading the word about the wealth of opportunities available here on our own campus."

James Arinaitwe

James Arinaitwe 2011 Recipient

Khadijah Gray

Khadijah Gray 2011 Recipient

Dustin Daniels

Dustin Daniels Dustin Daniels was an honarary third recipient of the Global Citizen awards in 2011.

Safiah Afify

Safiah Afify 2010 Recipient

Marie LeBlanc

Marie LeBlanc 2010 Recipient