Nadia Rassech: 2024 Global Citizen Award Recipient

Nadia Rassech has been named a 2024 recipient of the Center for Global Engagement’s Global Citizen Award, which honors outstanding students who have actively engaged in intercultural initiatives on campus or abroad and who have exemplified leadership in promoting and supporting a global community among Florida State University students.  

Nadia is an undergraduate student from California studying International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies (MES). She was originally drawn to FSU because of its international opportunities and education. “With so much uncertainty during the college application process, one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to study abroad – to build my global perspectives, cross-cultural communication skills, and knowledge of language and international politics,” said Nadia. She was able to go abroad, completing an internship in Halle, Germany for a refugee aid organization, expanding her education at FSU outside of her classes: “This experience expanded my understanding of global issues and refugee protection, as well as other models for government and civil society resettlement programs.”  

During her time at FSU, Nadia has been involved in many organizations and opportunities. Nadia was able to tell us about her extensive involvement so far: “I am in both the Presidential Scholars and Social Science Scholars programs. I have served in leadership for Amnesty International at FSU, the Arabic Honor Society and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. I am a volunteer coordinator for a team assisting in the resettlement of an Afghan refugee family, through the International Rescue Committee. I am also currently the assistant for the FSU Middle East Center and live on campus in the Arabic Language House. At the CGE, I am in the Global Citizenship Certificate program, was selected to attend the 2024 Florida International Leadership Conference and have volunteered with the English Conversation Partner Program.” Along with this, she was also recently awarded the 2024 FSU Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award and participated in the Consortium for Human Rights at Oxford University through the FSU Honors College.  

Nadia expressed that the best part of her FSU experience is the communities she has found here. “The MES Department is truly my home away from home – I am incredibly thankful for the professors, mentors, peers, and lifelong friendships that I have made through this department, as they have been crucial to my academic, professional, and personal development these past three years. I am also thankful to the CGE and its community, as it has been another pillar of my FSU experience,” said Nadia. She even goes on to credit FSU and its plethora of international programs and educational opportunities, with her ability to grow her career: “I would not be on the path that I am today if it were not for the communities I have found at FSU” ... “Thanks to programs such as FSU academic affairs, the MES Department, Presidential Scholar, and Social Science Scholars, this summer I plan to take Arabic language classes while furthering my study of international refugee law in Oman. Next semester, I will further these studies in Fez, Morocco, at the Arabic Language Institute. Moving forward, I plan to apply to the US Critical Language Scholarship and Fullbright programs. Long term, I hope to study international law, with a concentration in refugee law.”  

Overall, Nadia has flourished during her time here at FSU so far, growing both a scholar and a leader. “It is due to the communities that I have found at FSU that I have constantly been supported and encouraged to enter these positions. I have gained experience, but also the confidence needed to believe that I can push myself further and continue to grow in these spaces. In witnessing how organizations initiate and undergo foundational transformations, I’ve realized that things are often more malleable than they seem. This mindset change, combined with the support of FSU, the CGE, and the MES department, has led to my planning of future study abroad and travel goals post-grad.” She is incredibly grateful towards the CGE, and the other opportunities and support our campus has to offer for students like herself. After winning this award and her continuous work with the CGE, Nadia has learned a lot to improve her academic efforts as she explores living abroad and cultural research for her career: "I am incredibly thankful to be one of the students receiving this year's Global Citizen Award! As I mentioned in the questionnaire, the CGE has been a core pillar to my FSU experience, especially during my freshman year as my initial involvements on campus were through the CGE (English Conversation Club, Global Citizenship Certificate, being a regular at Coffee Hour, etc). Moving to Tallahassee from California, the majority-minority state whose diverse environment I had taken for granted, I was thankful to the CGE for the community that it fostered. Through the CGE, I have learned to take a more active role in initiating and reflecting on cross-cultural exchanges, a skill that will be helpful as well as continuously fostered as I spend my next year abroad. This award shows my own progress in expanding my global perspective these past three years but also gives me courage in the footing I have, which will carry me into Morocco next semester. I hope to honor this award and the efforts of the CGE by continuing to grow as a global citizen moving forward in my academic and professional career."