The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has named undergraduates Fredrick Cherry, Jr., and Logina (Gina) Mostafa as recipients of the 2019 Dean’s Achievement Award. The award is given to outstanding undergraduate students who are eligible for services from the Center for Diversity and Enrichment.
Cherry is a student in the English and Creative Writing program and was nominated by Professor of English Stephen Voyce. He was born and raised in Chicago. While attending the University of Iowa, Cherry established the Black Faculty Series, which brings together students of color and African American faculty; served as a resident assistant; was a fall 2016 initiate of the Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; was a part of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, where he presented his research analyzing how Black men navigate their masculinity in relation to space through the lens of Trayvon Martin; and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, working to build houses for the homeless. Among his many additional contributions to the university, he was elected National Pan-Hellenic Council President and served as the Black Student Success Coordinator for the On Iowa! orientation program for entering students. His current research which culminates in his English Honors Thesis focuses on notions of Black freedom and liberation. Cherry was recently admitted to the University of Maryland's PhD program in English, where he plans to study African American literature.
Mostafa is majoring in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) and Global Health, and will graduate this May with honors in GWSS. Mostafa was nominated by Professors of GWSS Maryann Rasmussen and Meena Khandelwal. Born in Egypt, Mostafa lived in New York until age 11, and attended middle school and high school in Bettendorf, Iowa. As an undergraduate, Mostafa was a member of the 2016 N.E.W. Leadership Program, an intensive 5-day residential institute designed to empower women across the political spectrum andreceived the Stephen Lynn Smith Memorial Scholarship for Social Justice. She was a Violence Prevention Peer Educator at the Women’s Resource and Action Center; an Electoral Fellow for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland; a NextGen America Fellow; a Social Media and Outreach Intern for GWSS; a Research Assistant for the Study of Eugenic Legacies in Iowa Project in the UI College of Public Health; and a participant in the USAC Health and Society Study Abroad Program at Christ University in Bangalore, India, where she initiated research for her honors thesis and volunteered with a university-based NGO teaching English to children. Mostafa will be a graduate student next fall in the College of Global Public Health at New York University, where she plans to continue the work she began in her honors thesis on the connections between reproductive and environmental justice. She is pursuing a career devoted to reproductive justice and health equity, specifically focusing on marginalized populations.
The dean in each of the UI’s 11 colleges is asked to select a recipient for the award. Each college sets its own selection criteria. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences looks for students who have made significant contributions to the university or surrounding communities through their vision and action. In addition, the students nominated demonstrate responsibility, inspiration and diligence, and good judgment. The selection committee is interested in the student’s academic accomplishments within and beyond the major; special honors, scholarships; activities and volunteering both on and off campus.
CLAS Associate Dean Meenakshi Gigi Durham will present their awards at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at the Graduation Reception sponsored by the UI Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The event will be held in the IMU Main Lounge. Cherry and Mostafa will receive a $150 scholarship as part of the award.