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Most Distinguished Alumnus

By Kate Kurtin

As an alumnus from George Washington University (GWU), Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Dr. Bahram Javidi (ECE) has been awarded the university’s highest honor – the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award for 2009-2010. According to an article on the GWU website, “The Distinguished Alumni Service Award is given to graduates who advance the mission of the University through dedicated volunteer efforts in support of its programs, thereby ensuring the University’s impact on its community and future generations of students. The award has been presented annually since 1959.” The award is university wide and can be given to an alumnus from any department or program for their lifetime achievement and philanthropy.

Dr. Javidi was nominated by David S. Dolling, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The two men have never met, and modestly Dr. Javidi explains, “I was completely surprised because I didn’t know that I was nominated.” Dr. Javidi was altogether unaware that his career was being tracked by his alma mater.

In an interview, Dr. Javidi spoke very well of GWU. “It is an excellent school, always in the top 50 and is in an incredible location.” However, when asked what his best memories are, Dr. Javidi explained that his experiences in DC and as an undergraduate were cut short. “I studied very hard,” he explains. “I wish I had more time to explore the city, I always took extra classes so that I could graduate early.” After finishing his undergraduate degree, he continued directly on to graduate school at Pennsylvania State University, but always looked back at his time fondly, and still returns for walks through campus when he is in DC.

Along with receiving his award from the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of GWU at a ceremony on May 6th, Dr. Javidi made a formal presentation based on his scholarship, and took part in informal discussions on a range of topics with GWU colleagues, administrators, and students; throughout the university.

Dr. Javidi is passionate about engineering and seeing future engineers succeed and not be deterred by the difficulty of the discipline. “I want to encourage students and tell them that anything they want to be great at takes hard work.” And that is certainly the example he has set.

“This award was really a great honor for me,” Dr. Javidi said. “GWU has really great programs, and I really appreciated being a student there.” They also have great resources and access to engineering companies which will hopefully lead to the future success of many GWU engineering students. For now, however, UConn students have access to one of GWU’s best resources – their Distinguished Alumni Scholar for 2009-2010.

Read more about Dr. Javidi’s many accomplishments here and here.